Hair is back!
The quintessential Age of Aquarius rock musical with its antic tribe, tie-dye tees, frayed jeans, mega frizz and naked joy, seems only to perfect with age. Having had a triumphant, award filled revival at the Delacorte in Central Park and Al Hirschfeld Theater on Broadway in 2009, now the show's touring company will run for ten-weeks at the St. James Theater. I wouldn't miss it.
Of course Hair plays well for me, takes me back to that exuberant/fearful time defined by Vietnam, when burning draft cards seemed the only sane course of action. But does it work for a younger age? I wondered what my 21-year-old daughter would make of these flower children whipped into a frenzy, singing of sex, drugs, and freedom, whose trips high and low can quickly turn tragic. Then the clownish Berger fluffs his luxurious mane and strips to a fringed g-string, sticking his rump into the faces in the first row. She asks, Mom, did you know people like this?
At the Sky Bar afterparty, I told that story to James Rado, the creator in 1967 (with Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot) who, grateful for his work's endurance, laughed and kissed my hand. Diane Paulus, the director who manages to keep this material so fresh called this play her labor of love. Graduates of earlier productions, Theo Stockton, Anthony Hollock, and Megan Reinking, among them, cheered on the new cast, who had climbed the ranks from tribe into leading roles. Steel Burkhardt (Berger) had been with the show through all these recent regenerations. Yes, he said running his fingers through, this job gave him the excuse to grow his hair.
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