Oh, the disappointment. Promised young teenaged gay men (or people pretending to be them) engaging in (mimed) sexual axtivities on stage while (possibly) wearing very little – and all being done to a rock soundtrack – I had a feeling that Greenwich Theater’s Bare was going to tick so many boxes on my like list that I was going to walk out dancing and singing and high-fiving any passing stranger.
It was not to be. On most of the areas which I judge a musical – songwriting, acting, singing, music – it was flaccid. The actors (and their characters) fought to maintain even two dimensions; the songs showed both a complete lack of inventiveness for lyrics and unmemorable melodies; many of the performers had second rate voices (Michael Vinson); it just failed to even slightly “rock” no matter how loud it was.
Were high school people really as shallow as this play made them out to be? Is coming out really worthy of this much badly-written attention? I managed to feel a bit of emotion as Peter (Vinson) and his mom struggled to communicate; and I got quite enthusiastic about “(Inside Every Gay Man) There’s a Black Woman.” But what is wrong with a gay rock musical when the best song is for a (possibly straight) woman, that a musical about high school kids saved its best tune for a teacher? Why was everyone dressed so badly? How is it I saw the ending coming from about minute 5 of the play, as dreadfully obvious as The Awakening or The House of Mirth? Aaargh. Maybe this show is enjoyable for 18 year olds with underexposure to musical theater; my feeling is that any adult gay male (or, frankly, any fan of musicals) will get a lot more out of The Light Princess.
Ah, well, the house was full anyway and people seemed to be enjoying themselves. But it was just an utter disappointment to me; less uplifting as well as less fun than Rock of Ages. Bah, I say, bah.
(This review is for the performance that took place on October 11, 2013.)