If Rent and Spring Awakening had a baby it would be the “pop opera” “Bare,” now playing for the first time in Chicago at Bailiwick Repertory. It has drugs, sex and plenty of Catholic-school guilt; unfortunately, this baby didn’t inherit the genes that made its parents Tony worthy. No part opera (really marketing people, lets look up the word “opera” before we use it) and too much pop (complete with overworked vocal summersaults), Jon Hartmere, Jr. and Damon Intrabartolo’s writing feels like “High School Musical” if “High School Musical” was a cutter. That said, if you are looking to see some young talent with powerful chords, Jay Reynolds, Jr. leads a skilled ensemble through a score that feels like a rather boring, gay after school special. Oh, and take note of Kathleen Gibson, she has killer timing and stinging delivery. (William Scott)
At the Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, (773)883-1090. This production is now closed.