Broadway revival of `Hair' recoups its investment
(AP) Aug 7, 2009
NEW YORK The Broadway revival of "Hair" is in the black.
Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis (YEW'-stis) says the
Tony-winning revival of the "Age of Aquarius" musical has recouped
its $5.76 million productions costs in four months.
The show opened March 31 to favorable reviews, and has been doing
strong business at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
The production was a critical and popular success for the Public
Theater at the outdoor Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last summer.
The original "Hair" had its world premiere at the Public Theater in 1967.
On the Net:
Show is re-dawning of the Age of Aquarius
August 06, 2009
CUMBERLAND Tie-dyed clothes are all the rage. Bell-bottoms are in
fashion. Hair is long and shaggy. Gasoline is becoming in short
supply and the nation is involved in an unpopular war.
1968 or 2009?
The more things change, the more things remain the same. Can you dig it, man?
It's been 30 years since the movie version and nearly 40 years since
the show debuted to oft stunned audiences off Broadway. And although
it is already two generations removed from its setting, the music and
attitude and message of America's original tribal love rock musical
"Hair" still continue to resonate. In fact, the return of "Hair" to
New York captured the Tony for Best Revival earlier this year.
Back when "Hair" debuted it caused quite the stir unlike anything
that had been seen before. It was "Rent" before there was "Rent." It
was "Avenue Q" in a time when there was just "Sesame Street." But
"Hair "was more than just another musical. It became a soundtrack for
a new age with songs like "Let the Sun Shine In" and "The Age of
Aquarius" played on AM Radio and hummed by mothers in station wagons.
Little did those "products of 1948" know then that those two hits
were from a show that also claimed "Black Boys are Delicious."
The teens who bought the vinyl 33 1/3 hid the album inside the
cardboard record jackets of more sane groups like The Carpenters lest
parents find out that's really what their kids were listening to on
their stereophonic systems contained inside large wood simulated cabinets.
"Hair" not only celebrated a movement but also started one. And soon,
other rock operas followed "Tommy," "Rocky Horror" and "Jesus
Today, "Hair" is a flashback to a time when a nation wasn't so
politically correct and sexuality, racism, and alternative religious
practices remained unspoken taboo subjects. It was post JFK and
Martin Luther King, the time of Vietnam, bra burnings, violent
protests for civil rights, and drug experimentation. And subjects not
discussed in polite society were suddenly being sung about on stage.
How far removed are we from that time? Well, consider this. Who would
have thought four decades later, those same lyrics from such a
"button pushing" stage show could actually be sang in the setting of
a public park in Cumberland, Maryland?
The timing then could not be more astute for the Front and Centre
Stage offering of the concert version of "Hair." This two hour
"Be-In" features 25 of the area's most talented performers in a
psychedelic song and dance spectacle.
For most of the players in the show the majority under the age of
35 this production could very easily be the music of their
grandparents. Scary enough, it is delivered here with not only a
20/20 vision of the past but a respect for what the movement of the
1970s must have meant to the young adults who lived it.
From the opening strains of the national anthem wailing from an
electric guitar delivered with a Hendrix homage to the final number
featuring every member of the cast, the music in this show is right
on the money. If there was money, that is. Admission is free.
Directed and meticulously choreographed by Kimberli Rowley,
highlights of the show include Danny Durr's feathered headpiece
warpath "Hippie Life" number, the rebellious flag clad "Don't Put it
Down" performed by Durr, Jordan Kline and Joshua Ruppenkamp, the
satirical "Abie Baby" done by Rock Evans and Billy Price, and the
tear-jerking and sweet solos by Lyndsay Smith and Heather Kline.
Other cast members include Paul Chiarenza, Bronwyn Davis, Sophie
Davis, Desiree Growden, Jackie Masse, Angela Merrithew, Shelly
Murphy, Rowley, Emily Schadt, and Martha Schadt. The show is under
the musical direction of John Hawkins accompanied by John Gauthier
II, Arnie Helmick, Bart Lay and Steve Rascella. Lighting by Rusty
Godwin, sound by Ken Nolan and a set design by Beth Hilliker, Eddie
Pierce and Chris Wilson accessorize the ambiance for a near perfect
promising trippy evening under the summer stars.
The final performance is today at 8 p.m. at the amphitheater at Canal Place.
It is sponsored in part by the Canal Place Preservation and
Development Authority and the Allegany Arts Council with grant funds
from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.
Due to the nature and subject matter of the show, parental guidance