Bare By Jon Hartmere, Jr. and Damon Intrabartolo
Directed by Wade Hair and Justin Scarlat
Starring Michael Gunn, Joey Sikkema, Adriana Milbrath
Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park, FL
Welcome to Our Lady of Perpetual Parties Boarding School. Instead of Nazi nuns with knuckle busting rulers this school features an in house drug dealer, penis piñata parties and a van that can conveniently stolen to get to the rave in the next state. Sexy Ivy (Milbrath) wears tight skirts and a bare midriff, Jock Jason (Gunn) waffles between her and vulnerable Peter (Sikkema), Sassy Sister Chantelle ( YaDonna Russell) directs “Romeo and Juliet” like she’s running a lunch counter on the south side of Chicago, and Father Dishrag ( Jonathan Keebler) takes confession so long as he doesn’t have to hear any of the details. This is WAY more fun than community college!
Well, not everything is fun and confessions. Peter agonizes about coming out while Jason piles up sand bags around his closet. Jason’s sister Nadia (Fo’i Meleah) has body image problems and Ivy finds that easy sex rarely leads to call backs from boys. When Lucas (Tyler Robert Conrady) sells Jason some mystery drug, he fades to black in the climax of R&J, and you almost expect Peter to join him. Jason is the tragic heroine, but we don’t know it until too late.
Sex and death goes best with music, and the sound track from Hartmere and Intrabartolo has a nice pop feel to it with some really memorable songs. “Plain Jane Fat Ass” by Nadia is an unexpected comic gem; she sings “Mother Nature is a Turd” to everyone’s delight. Peter’s mom Claire (Kelly Elisabeth Fagan) gets one beautiful ballad in “Warning” and Sister Chantelle reminds us that “God don’t make no trash” and “I don’t direct no dinner theatre.” Peter has some weak songs at the beginning, I’m not sure if he just wasn’t warmed up or there was a sound problem but his first few songs felt off. Fortunately by his duet with Jason in “Best Kept Secret” he had redeemed himself and kept getting better all evening.
While this show begins with the implication Peter is going to have a hard time in school when he comes out, most of his classmates are pretty civil to him despite his obvious leanings. His issues then focus on his relation with Jason and his mother, and while Jason flip flops about sex, he seems a much stronger character. I thought Ivy was flirty and sexy but the adults in this boarding school seemed distant and not doing their jobs with these high school students. Every survivor of Catholics school I met rails about the discipline and punishment, this school made the Unitarians look tough. So come for the singing and treat this like any good musical – an excuse for a good time, and not a reflection of reality.
For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com or look them up on Facebook.