Season Prep: HAIR

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Welcome to our 2013-2014 season! Our fourth show is Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. (Above image from the 2009 Broadway revival.)

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical’s profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of “rock musical”, using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a “Be-In” finale.

After an Off-Broadway debut in October 1967 at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, the show opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for 1,750 performances. Simultaneous productions in cities across the United States and Europe followed shortly thereafter, including a successful London production that ran for 1,997 performances. Since then, numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation was released in 1979. A Broadway revival opened on March 31, 2009, earning strong reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical. In 2008, Time magazine wrote, “Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever.” (via Wikipedia)

The Nude Scene:

One of the well-known, and controversial, facts about Hair is nude scene that end Act 1 during the “Where Do I Go?” Claude contempts how to react to his draft while the cast stages an anti-war protest, inspired by a real nude protest.

Read more about the challenges of nudity in college theater: “Nude Scene Causes Theater Strife,” The GW Hatchet and “HAIR Stripped Down: Let’s Get This Nudity Thing Straight,” The Tribe Online.

Learn More: Hair: The Musical

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