John Torres - "Are You There" (from Bare: A Pop Opera)
There are a few voices that you hear and then never forget. John Torres is one of those voices. Now, granted, I knew him (and sang with him) in college so my brain was susceptible to influence, but the truth is, his is one of those rare voices that it at once unique and familiar and completely and utterly listenable.
His music has been featured in popular films and television shows and has received numerous honors, including a John Lennon Songwriting Award, a nomination for an American Independent Music Award, and a short listing for Best Original Song by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has released four studio albums, as well as numerous singles and music videos.
As an actor, Torres played the lead role of Drew in the first production of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. He also co-starred as Peter in the first major production of the musical Bare: A Pop Opera, from which this song comes.
Bare, also known as Bare: A Pop Opera, is a coming-of-age rock musical with music by Damon Intrabartolo, lyrics by Jon Hartmere, and a book by Hartmere and Intrabartolo. The story focuses on a group of high school students and their struggles at their private Catholic boarding school, and is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet. The musical was later revised as Bare: The Musical.
The musical debuted at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, running from October 14, 2000 to February 25, 2001. The New York production of Bare at the American Theatre of Actors Off-Broadway, ran from April 19 to May 27, 2004. The Los Angeles and New York productions were both directed by Kristin Hanggi.
I can say that the journey from LA to NYC was difficult for bare, but it did eventually make it. It was stripped of some of it’s grit and given the Broadway Gloss, but it’s heart was still there.
Still, I don’t think I will every forget the sound of John Torres singing this song at the Hudson Theatre in 2001. The perfectly pleading calling tone that he gave was so honest and true, it’s never left my memory. He’s gone on to do great things, with albums and awards all on his mantle. Seriously, give his new music a listen, it’s gorgeous, but today this melody popped into my head (thank you Mr. Intrabartolo) and all I could hear was John’s voice singing it.
Sadly there are no full recordings of John’s performance of this song, so we’ll have to make due with the recorded version that had Matt Doyle, and the revival version that had Michael Arden. Both are incredible singers, but it’s always John that I hear when these songs come to mind. The only recording I was able to find was a Promo Disc recording with most of the song. It also has the original Jason, John Griffin. Skip to 45:02 to hear the song.
So today with light creeping in, I choose John Torres & John Griffin’s version of "Are You There" (from the Pop Opera: Bare) as my, hold on to the sweet parts, memories can make us stronger, know where you’ve been to know where you’re going, song for a, break open that heart, see what you’ve got to offer, know your worth, Tuesday.