Anti-War Show is Back in Style As It Returns to Broadway Revival for
Hippie Musical That Shocked in the 1970s
12 September 2008
By JULIA HORTON
THE Age of Aquarius will dawn once more on Broadway as cult musical
Hair returns to its roots.
In the latest revival of a classic of years gone by, the show is
about to go home to the legendary US theatre district where it first
wowed audiences 40 years ago.
Its then-shocking nudity and anti-establishment theme sparked
outrage, and later shows in the UK were possible only because of a
change in censorship laws the day before its opening.
The intervening years have made it far less controversial, but
organisers say its appeal endures. In Scotland, where the legendary
show drew crowds of more than 200,000 in 1970, theatres said that
musicals were enjoying a resurgence.
Announcing the decision to move the current New York Public Theatre
Central Park production to Broadway in the new year, the theatre's
artistic director Oskar Eustis said yesterday: "The success of Hair
has been thrilling, proving that this show speaks as powerfully today
as it did 40 years ago. We are moving the show indoors, but the
celebratory joy of this production will remain intact."
Written by out-of-work actors Gerome Ragni and James Rado, with music
by Galt MacDermot, Hair had its world premiere at the Public Theatre
in 1967 before transferring to Broadway the following year.
Dubbed "The American tribal love-rock musical", it caused shockwaves
with its tale of a young man in New York, threatened with
conscription to Vietnam, urged by his friends to rebel.
Its anti-war, pro-sex-anddrugs message was deemed so immoral at the
time that the official British theatre censor reportedly condemned it
for "extolling dirt, anti-establishment views, free love,
drug-taking, homosexuality and inveighing against patriotism".
But the day before the show moved to the West End in September 1968,
the new Theatres Act was brought in, ending powers of stage
censorship dating back centuries.
Celebrating British audiences flocked to see the production at the
Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for five years with just under 2000
performances, more than the estimated 1800 that took place on
Broadway. Elaine Paige and Paul Nicholas were among the British stars
who got their big break in the London show.
Fans in Scotland got the chance to see Hair when theatre boss Jimmy
Logan convinced its producer James Verner to bring it to his Glasgow
theatre in 1970.
More than 200,000 people crowded into Jimmy Logan's Metropole Theatre
in the St George's Cross area of the city during the 10- month run.
An amateur production at the Pavilion in 1994 was among several
attempts over the year by enthusiasts and professionals o revive the show.
Duncan May, of Glasgow's King's Theatre and Theatre Royal, believes
the time might be right now. He said:
"Something that there was a lot of interest in a long time ago is
maybe ready for a revival. We have got Evita at the moment, which
goes back to the late 1970s. It is the first time that the show has
been at the King's in 13 years and it's proving to be extremely popular."
He added: "A revival of Hair after so many years is distinct from
something like Carousel, which comes around on a regular basis."
A spokeswoman for the Festival City Theatres Trust, which runs the
King's Theatre and Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, said: "There is
always an audience for the classics.
"We have had Hello Dolly and Aspects of Love, which has had a mini
revival. I think they go through phases. People are used to seeing
them on TV so they regain a bit of popularity."
The production of Hair transforming to Broadway has been so
successful that the Public Theatre extended its summer run twice. It
is due to end on Sunday.
Paul Nicholas Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Vince in the
BBC sitcom Just Good Friends, the English actor and singer first
found success in musicals in the UK after landing the leading role of
Claude in the London production of Hair.
Elaine Paige The woman now known as the first lady of British musical
theatre made her West End debut in Hair at the Shaftesbury Theatre in
1969, going on to land a string of roles including Eva Peron in the
award-winning original production of Evita in 1978 .
Floella Benjamin A part in Hair also put this actress on the path to
success, which led to her becoming a popular children's TV presenter
on shows such as Play School and Play Away.
Tim Curry (top) and Richard O'Brien It was on the set of the London
production of Hair that Tim Curry met Richard O'Brien, who joined the
cast the year after Curry in 1969. The pair went on to collaborate on
another cult musical, The Rocky Horror Show.
Broadway gets 'Hair' next year
by Michael Sommers/The Star-Ledger
Thursday September 11, 2008
NEW YORK - Didn't care to wait on line in Central Park to catch
"Hair" at the outdoor Delacorte Theater this summer?
You're in luck: The Public Theater will transfer its
critically-acclaimed revival of the 1976 "American tribal-love rock
musical" to a Broadway house in early 2009. Now all you'll have to do
is pay Broadway ticket prices to see the show.
A specific theater, performance dates and box office details have yet
to be set for the production.
No word so far whether the orginal company led by Jonathan Groff,
Will Swenson and Caren Lyn Manuel will be reassembled by director
Diana Paulis. The current production ends its summer run - which was
extended three times due to popular demand - this Sunday after 54 showings.
"This show speaks as powerfully today as it did 40 years ago," said
Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis. "Now our job is to
give it a life beyond Central Park ... we're moving the show indoors,
but the celebratory joy of this production will remain intact."
Created by James Rado, Gerome Ragni and composer Galt MacDermot, the
original "Hair" played more than 1,800 performances on Broadway.
Michael Sommers may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 790-4434.
HAIR to Move to Broadway in 2009; Theater and Dates TBA
September 10, 2008
Confirming ongoing rumors and speculation, the Public Theater has
announced that HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical which has
been playing to sold out houses at The Delacorte Theater in Central
Park since July 22 will indeed transfer to Broadway sometime in early 2009.
At this time there is no word on a theater, dates or who from the
current cast will transfer to the new production will be co-produced
by Elizabeth I. McCann and the Public Theater.
Directed by Diane Paulus with book and lyrics by James Rado and
Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, this critically acclaimed
revival of the classic 1967 musical has extended three times and is
now set to close on Sunday, September 14 in Central Park.
"HAIR has touched a nerve and captured the spirit of the times," said
Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "Nothing is more
exciting than being in the Delacorte right now and seeing this
40-year-old musical reach audiences as if it was written yesterday.
We are thrilled to announce our third and final extension."
HAIR was the show that, in 1967, officially opened The Public
Theater's long-time home on Lafayette Street. HAIR has the
distinction of being the first off-Broadway musical to transfer to
Broadway. It moved to Broadway on April 29, 1968 and ran for 1,873
The cast for HAIR features Ato Blankson-Wood (Tribe), Steel Burkhardt
(Tribe), Jackie Burns (Black Boys Trio/Tribe), Allison Case (Crissy),
Lauren Elder (Tribe), Allison Guinn (Tribe), Christopher J. Hanke
(Claude), Anthony Hollock (Tribe), Kaitlin Kiyan (Tribe), Andrew
Kober (Father/Margaret Mead), Megan Lawrence (Mother), Nicole Lewis
(White Boys Trio / Tribe), Caren Lyn Manuel (Sheila), Patina Renea
Miller (Dionne), John Moauro (Tribe), Darius Nichols (Hud), Brandon
Pearson (Tribe), Megan Reinking (Black Boys Trio / Tribe), Paris
Remillard (Tribe), Bryce Ryness (Woof), Saycon Sengbloh (White Boys
Trio / Tribe), Maya Sharpe (Tribe), Kacie Sheik (Jeanie), Theo
Stockman (Tribe), Will Swenson (Berger), and Tommar Wilson (Tribe).
HAIR features scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Michael
McDonald, lighting design by Michael Chybowski, sound design by Acme
Sound Partners, and choreography by Karole Armitage.
Free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are only distributed at The
Delacorte Theater in Central Park or via a new virtual line
opportunity at www.publictheater.org. The Public Theater is not
distributing tickets downtown at 425 Lafayette Street due to ongoing
construction on the exterior of the building.
To increase accessibility to Park shows, The Public Theater has
launched a virtual line initiative this summer. While the majority
of the tickets are still given out at the line in Central Park, a
limited number of tickets are available each show day online. The
virtual line allows people who are registered at The Public Theater
website to log-on the day of a show (starting at midnight) to submit
a request for up to two tickets. At 1 PM, they log-on to the
theater website again to see if they have received tickets for that
evening's performance. The tickets are held at the box office and a
valid photo ID is required. The selection process is completely
random and is not determined by what time of day a person submits a
request for tickets.
Summer Supporter tickets for HAIR are available for a tax-deductible
donation of $165. These reserved seats are only available for a
limited time to ensure that the highest number of free seats will be
available to distribute to the general public on the day of the
show. Summer Supporter tickets help to underwrite production
expenses. Supporter tickets are available at the Public Theater Box
Office at 425 Lafayette Street; online at publictheater.org; or by
calling (212) 967-7555.
Diane Paulus (Director) is the creator and director of The Donkey
Show, which ran for six years off-Broadway and toured
internationally. Her theater credits include Turandot: Rumble for the
Ring (Bay Street Theatre); The Golden Mickeys (Disney Creative
Entertainment); Best of Both Worlds (Music-Theatre Group and The
Women's Project); The Karaoke Show (Jordan Roth Productions); the
Obie Award-winning Pulitzer Prize finalist Running Man; Swimming With
Watermelons (Project 400); Brutal Imagination; the Obie-winning Eli's
Comin. Opera credits include Le Nozze Di Figaro, Turn of the Screw,
Cosi Fan Tutte, Il Ritorno D'ulisse In Patria, L'Incoronazione di
Poppea, and Orfeo (all Chicago Opera Theater; Orfeo was also
presented at BAM). Recipient: Peter Ivers Visiting Artist Fellowship
(Harvard); Directing Fellowship (the Drama League).
Performances of HAIR are Tuesday through Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Tickets
are FREE and available on the day of the performance (two per person)
at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at 1:00 p.m. or
via a new virtual line opportunity at www.publictheater.org beginning
at 12 AM the day of the show you want to attend. The closest
entrances to the Delacorte are at 81st Street and Central Park West
or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.
For additional information about Shakespeare in the Park, call (212)
539-8750 or visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org
THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director) was founded by
Joseph Papp in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop and is now one of the
nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays,
musicals, productions of Shakespeare, and other classics at its
headquarters on Lafayette Street and at the Delacorte Theater in
Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New
Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through its extensive
outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people
attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown
stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public
has won 40 Tony Awards, 145 Obies, 39 Drama Desk Awards, 24 Lucille
Lortel Awards and 4 Pulitzer Prizes.
Hair Transplant: Public's Central Park Staging to Arrive On Broadway in 2009
By Adam Hetrick
10 Sep 2008
The Public Theater has announced that the much-extended Shakespeare
in the Park production of Hair, directed by Diane Paulus, will arrive
on Broadway in 2009.
Elizabeth I. McCann and the Public Theater will co-produce the
Broadway revival of Hair – the timely tribal love-rock musical
written by James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot – which is
slated to begin performances after the first of the year. Theatre,
dates and casting will be announced at a later date.
The announcement of the Broadway transfer follows three extensions
for the current Central Park run, which concludes Sept. 14 at the
Delacorte Theater. Performances began July 22, and Hair officially
opened Aug. 7.
"The success of Hair has been thrilling, proving that this show
speaks as powerfully today as it did 40 years ago," said Public
Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis in a statement. "Now our job
is to give it a life beyond Central Park, where we can reach as large
an audience as Hair deserves. We're moving the show indoors, but the
celebratory joy of this production will remain intact."
Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) who was unable to
remain with Hair past its extensions because of his role in the Ang
Lee film "Taking Woodstock" could return to star in the Broadway
production once his schedule opens up after the first of the year,
although no official announcement has been made. Groff was succeeded
by Cry-Baby's Christopher J. Hanke for the remainder of the Central Park run.
The Delacorte production, which features choreography by Karole
Armitage (Passing Strange), reunites much of the 40th anniversary
cast of Hair, which played the outdoor theatre in September 2007.
Hair features Christopher J. Hanke (Claude), Will Swenson (Berger),
Patina Renea Miller (Dionne), Caryn Lyn-Manuel (Sheila), Ato
Blankson-Wood (Tribe), Steel Burkhardt (Tribe), Jackie Burns (White
Boys Trio/Tribe), Allison Case (Crissy), Lauren Elder (Tribe),
Allison Guinn (Tribe), Anthony Hollock (Tribe), Kaitlin Kiyan
(Tribe), Andrew Kober (Father/Margaret Mead), Megan Lawrence
(Mother), Nicole Lewis (White Boys Trio/Tribe), John M. Moauro
(Tribe), Darius Nichols (Hud), Brandon Pearson (Tribe), Megan
Reinking (Black Boys Trio/Tribe), Paris Remillard (Tribe), Bryce
Ryness (Woof), Saycon Sengbloh (White Boys Trio/Tribe), Maya Sharpe
(Tribe), Kacie Sheik (Jeanie), Theo Stockman (Tribe) and Tommar Wilson (Tribe).
The creative team comprises Scott Pask (set design), Michael McDonald
(costume design), Michael Chybowski (lighting design) and Acme Sound
Partners (sound design).
For additional information about Shakespeare in the Park, call (212)
539-8750 or visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org.