I had a chance to see the musical Hair this weekend at the newly dubbed Segerstrom Center for the Arts (formerly Orange County Performing Arts Center). Here is a snippet of the review I wrote for Technorati’s BlogCritics. You can read the rest at the original post.
Hair has always been one of my favorite shows. However, it has been off of my radar for a few years, and its genius was forgotten in favor of some of the newer shows (Next to Normal! Spring Awakening! Fela!) that currently populate my ipod. When I heard that Broadway was staging a revival of the play in 2009, I was excited to see how this brilliant show would be staged. It won the Tony Award for best musical revival, but I had to wait more than a year for the show to come to my area on tour.
In anticipation of the local premiere, I stocked my ipod with the soundtrack and was quickly reminded of how much I love the music. It has an amazing score – tight harmonies paired with complex melodies . . .and songs that are just plain fun for singing along.
Hair was a revolutionary musical. In a season of syrupy musicals by Rogers and Hammerstein, Hair was a serious departure from the usual Broadway fare. The show was cutting edge not just because of the subject matter, but because the music was done in a rock-opera style that had rarely been attempted. In my mind, this innovation puts Hair in the same category as Rent, Spring Awakening, and American Idiot - all shows that introduced a new sounds to the traditional musical theater milieu. The show opened in 1967, and dealt with difficult and timely subjects. The shows casts both a nostalgic and critical gaze on the ideology of the hippie movement, the draft, and the fight against establishment.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus