Leaving Me Breathless

The run of bare has been amazing. We've gotten lots of repeat customers, as well as people coming from Nebraska, New Jersey, Indiana, Minnesota, and elsewhere. This really is a show like no other. Knowing how much this show means to our younger audiences really makes me feel an extra responsibility with this show that's new for me.

It's been a hectic last couple weeks, running bare while preparing for and auditioning Passing Strange (and we've got an amazing cast, announcement soon). But I wanted to share with you the wonderful, effusive reviews we've gotten for bare. I'll admit I'm used to pretty glowing reviews lately -- we get a lot of them -- but it's still really wonderful, especially with a less mainstream kind of show like this one.

Here's what the critics think...

“New Line Theatre's current production of bare is a devastatingly powerful presentation that features a strong and talented cast performing at an exceptional level under director Scott Miller's sure hand. . . New Line Theatre's powerful and provocative production of bare: a pop opera is must-see theatre, providing the kind of experience that absolutely defines modern musical theatre, mixing catchy, open-ended compositions with an undeniably important subject matter. Make an effort to see it soon!” – BroadwayWorld.com

“This month, the truth serum seems to come to us in live theater, in the form of the very entertaining teen-angst musical Bare. . . director Scott Miller draws both actors, and the entire cast, to performances that are strikingly real and compelling, in spite of all the possible pitfalls of the high school drama at hand. It’s another remarkably solid cast for a New Line show. . . Bare is full of great story telling and fun music, rich characters and very fine performances.” – Richard Green, TalkinBroadway.com

“A 4.5 on a scale of 1-to-5. It’s smart, humorous and sophisticated, all elements readily observable in the regional premiere mounted by artistic director Scott Miller in New Line Theatre’s engaging and accessible presentation. . . Miller keeps the production moving briskly while also consistently bringing out the work’s sophistication, including guiding his players successfully through its complicated score. Really, there’s little bare about this rendition past its title. Quite the opposite, it’s an engaging evening of entertainment.” – Mark Bretz, Ladue News

“A Must-See. The 20-foot cross looming over the stage at New Line Theater was ominous, both in the minutes before the show began, and during the production. And it was hard to tell if it was intended to stretch wide, hugging the cast in an embrace, or to stand distant, arms akimbo in rebuke. Such thematic dualism reoccurs throughout Scott Miller’s production of bare.” – Darren Orf, St. Louis Magazine

“Go to New Line and plunge into this sad, dense, haunting pop opera. Yet for all its complexity, it’s emotionally bare. Created by composer Damon Intrabartolo and lyricist Jon Hartmere Jr., bare enjoys a cult following but not the kind of fame associated with, for example, Spring Awakening. But its similar story is equally powerful, conveyed not only by the director Scott Miller and the actors but through Intrabartolo’s romantic pop score, performed with passion by conductor Justin Smolik and the New Line Band. . . bare addresses a wealth of teen problems – substance abuse, pregnancy, questions of sexual identity, teen suicide – but it's no after-school special. It offers no answers, beyond an assertion that honesty is healthy and secrecy can be lethal.” – Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The cast of New Line Theatre's production of bare is strong in terms of both acting and vocals. . . bare is an original show with complicated musical structure. The fine cast is able to produce some unique harmonies and chords that at first sound discordant. It is to their credit and director Scott Miller’s casting that they are able to pull it off. . . bare is a show that explores a myriad of problems facing young people and their struggle to learn from and overcome the obstacles they face. It's definitely a show worth seeing.” – Christopher Reilly, The Patch

“It’s a strong, intelligent, interesting show that has played here and there around the country for more than a decade. This is its St. Louis premiere. . . Given the story and the setting, a number of younger actors (many students at Webster University) got the chance, and there are some splendid performances.” – Joe Pollack, St. Louis Eats and Drinks

“The cast of New Line’s bare brings more power than is probably needed in the small space but the show’s powerful message comes through loud and clear. The cast is a good one and this cult musical makes an impressive local debut. . . It’s all tied together with the great touch of New Line’s artistic director Scott Miller. And the flawless work by the band led by Justin Smolik adds to the lovely evening. . . It’s an adult production with some very provocative scenes and music that may not be to everyone’s taste, but bare really makes for a delightful evening of musical theater.” – Steve Allen, Java Journal

We close this week and we will all miss this show desperately. It's been a wonderful experience.

Long Live the Musical!