The Fine Arts Building showcased Bare: A Pop Opera this past weekend. The story encircles the lives of Peter and Jason, two gay roommates and their secret at a Catholic boarding school. I walked into Room 150 to watch a play. I walked out pondering my self-worth, if God is really listening, and the fear of not being able to showcase your true colors.
Micah Sauvageau takes the role of Peter in his hand and molds it into an insecure yet overly confident 17-year-old boy. One of his songs “Role of a Lifetime” made me feel for his character. I wanted to get on stage and hug him. Peter is in love with Jason as they hide their affections from their peers. Jason is the popular stud, constantly being the center of attention at St. Cecelia’s Boarding School. It’s a classic love triangle, or square. Peter is in love with Jason and Jason is in love with Peter. Ivy is in love with Jason, and Matt is in love with Ivy.
Peter eventually convinces Jason to be a part of the school’s rendition of “Romeo and Juliet.” Jason gets cast as Romeo, Ivy gets to play Juliet, who reveals a significant amount of skin. Trenton Schneiders portrays Jason and does it beautifully. You love his character until he stabs Peter in the back and sleeps with Ivy. (Plot twist.) Even after that, you still root for him.
Ivy, played by Lailani Cook obviously knows a thing or two about music, being the President and Musical Director of the UAA Glee Club. Her character Ivy, a sultry teen becomes pregnant with Jason’s baby after a drunken encounter. Her solo “All Grown Up” displays emotions that couldn’t be told through spoken word.
Every actor made their talent known by singing along to a simple guitar track. Ben Erickson portrayed Matt, a regular boy chasing after Ivy. Erickson came onto the cast a mere two weeks ago. His voice, his talent, and stage presence made it hard to comprehend that his time with “Bare” wasn’t longer.
Eventually, not every story has a happy ending. Peter finds out about Jason hooking up with Ivy, and the fact that she’s pregnant with his baby. There is a big fight, where Matt spills to everyone that Jason is gay. Of course, the show must go on. In “Romeo and Juliet,” Jason takes some sort of drug where he’s high as a kite Jason spasms out on stage and dies, leaving Peter alone and Ivy fatherless. The show ends at graduation, throwing their caps in the air. Even after tragedy, life goes on.
This production had incredible music and even more incredible actors. Everyone in this show depicted an amazing character, regardless of skin color or sexuality. This play is another reminder that it shouldn’t matter who you love, as long as you love them whole heartedly.