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  • Join Date: Oct 2007
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
  • Country: ca
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The Musical

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?
#1 - July 14, 2017, 06:33:28 PM

  • Join Date: Oct 2007
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
  • Country: ca
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Hair - Aquarius

#2 - July 14, 2017, 06:34:44 PM
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 09:55:02 AM by admin »
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