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Hair Musical

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Yamaha
Hair Musical
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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 counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 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.

Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the "Age of Aquarius" living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War.

 Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his parents (and conservative America) to serve in Vietnam, compromising his pacifist principles and risking his life.

After an off-Broadway debut in October 1967 at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and a subsequent run at the Cheetah nightclub from December 1967 through January 1968, 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 in 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."
#1 - June 13, 2017, 01:09:36 PM

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Yamaha
Hair Musical - Aquarius


There is a priceless moment at the end of the London revival of the tribal love-rock musical Hair. All through the show, hairy muslin-flapping hippies have been running through the audience expressing their universal love and free-spirited daring. One lad kissed my (male) friend on the top of his head with the curiously aggressive line: “Love you too, man!” The victim muttered: “Too? Too? Never said I loved him!”

With hippies all over the place, yipping and hugging and burning their Vietnam draft cards, the whole thing is as much a period piece as No, No Nanette. It quite made up for my having been too young, broke, uncool and shy to come to London in 1968 when it first opened. It was the day after the demise of the censorious Lord Chamberlain, and a brief glimpse of dim-lit, dancing genitalia sparked anxious national debate. Anarchy! Indecency! Youth! Oh my ears and whiskers!

How things have changed. In this production, when at the end the audience is invited to come up and dance, you suddenly notice two of the hippies deftly manoeuvring into place the ultimate evidence that it is actually 2010: a handrail. You can’t have emotional middle-aged punters falling off the steps. Next revival, it’ll be a Stannah stairlift. Jim Rado, the sole surviving creator of the musical, winced slightly when I asked him about the health ’n’ safety handrail moment. He murmured: “Wish they hadn’t had to do that…” But they did.

It’s a good moment to meditate on what became of the Summer of Love, and how the Age of Aquarius is doing. Was its dawn aborted in the Seventies by punk, in the Eighties by Thatcher and Reagan? Were the Greenham Women the last fully functional relics of hippiedom? Was there really a chance that the age of love and peace and flowers in the hair would dawn again at the millennium, in that carey-sharey-early-Blairy time when the PM played guitar, wore purple velour jumpsuits and forced the Queen to link arms in the Millennium Dome?

Could it be that the Aquarian dream is returning, slyly, via the rise of chilled-out festival culture at Glastonbury and Latitude, and mass demonstrations against the Iraq war? Did the viciously prudish new Christian Right knock it on the head, or is it dawning again under Obama?



 
#2 - June 13, 2017, 01:13:23 PM
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