Features, Review, Theatre | by — March 6, 2009


Al Hirschfeld Theatre
New York City

by Dani Aronson

Protest war! Promote peace and love! Smelly liberal art school drop outs! The themes of HAIR the musical still resonate forty years since the original. Even looking at the cast of ‘1967 hippies’, half of them could be on their way to a party in hipsterville Mecca Williamsburg… especially my favorite man-hippy, ‘Woof’—but I’ll call him Wolf. Wolf is shirtless with a fur vest, tight jeans, floppy hair, and he worships Mick Jagger— what’s not to love about our blonde furry friend??

One of the most talented of the cast has to be Sasha Allen (‘Dionne’). She appeared in the movie ‘Camp’ (and ode to musical theatre summer camp, not a film about being camp… although, what is higher than musical theatre on the Pete Burns gay scale? Maybe Liza Manelli dancing to Girls Aloud?). Sasha opens up the show, and also leads some of the girls in the ‘White Boys / Black Boys’ number-my favorite song in the musical since my teen years. I thought man-child/hippy Berger was kind of annoying… but maybe because he’s too much like the all familiar immature NYC male– overly committed to relationships not getting serious.

One of the fun parts of HAIR is that the cast interacts with the audience throughout the show—they hand out peace flowers, pass out bed-in / love-in flyers, dance with the audience, rub audience members hair in ecstasy, they get all up in that tourist from Omaha’s face, they tell you there is going to be good reefer at the love-in!

I have always been a big fan of the music of HAIR, so to get a chance to see it on stage was a big treat. The original run at the Public in 1967 was legendary- because they got down to their nuddy nuddy pants (nude), and they also invited the audience to get naked with them on stage (according to my dad, who was there in ‘67—many audience members took the opportunity to take it all off). The cast still gets naked in the current show, but it’s brief and the lights are dim— booooo! I want spotlights, glitter, liquid latex, butter— HAIR for 2009!

Also, Tracy Ullman was at the show that night, she got her groove on during the finale on stage with the rest of the audience. I give hair 4/5 lips! Having Wolf perform the whole show in chaps and that furry vest (and NOTHING else) would have earned them that 5/5!

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