Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Hair Continues to Live High

Hair is a musical that defined a generation; both in terms of America and in musical theater. Yet how many years later, the musical is still fresh and relevant than ever. Despite closing last year, the touring production is back on Broadway for their self proclaimed "Summer of Love 2011." I was fortunate to sit front row center. I was up-close and personal with that sexy haggle of hippi. A few of the original cast members from earlier incarnations of the Diane Paulus helmed production remain in the cast, though in new roles. From the second the moon-projected scrim drops to the last "Hair" during the audience filled stage curtain call, Hair rocks, engaging every person sitting in the theater. Whatever your association with the subject of the piece, some sort of visceral memory forms, causing a true theatrical moment.
It's important to note how remarkable this cast is. There are productions currently on Broadway that have an ensemble of tired, bored castmembers (take a trip over to the Ambassador Theater), but not once did this group of young, energetic "kids" look like they didn't want to be on stage. I'm sure for some, they're living there dream, so why not love and make the best of every second you feet touch the stage. The only negative I found with this cast was the still oddly cast Caren Lyn Tackett. She seems out of place and sticks out next to the much younger hippies. It makes me miss the concert days of Karen Olivo belting out "I Believe in Love," but that was something only very few were able to catch.

If you're looking for a night of love, go see Hair before it disappears again. A must see. Peace now, freedom now.