It’s hard to write about this one, because there are so many layers… HAIR was the “soundtrack of my youth”; I had the whole album memorized. I saw it at LCC in the early 80’s and was appalled that I had become one of “them”: a grownup with kids. I remember being touched by anti-war aspect of the MSU version about 13 years ago; I seem to remember a funereal sequence, that was missing in the current production. Tonight, I’m confusing all of this… with a disillusionment built over time. The “victory” of getting rid of the draft has made it easier to wage perpetual war, without the protest generated by obligating every young man to serve, or scramble for some kind of deferment.
I believe this is the “revival” version of HAIR (2009), since there were a couple songs to which I did not know all the words. It was a little difficult to understand the words, too, due to the untamed nature of the music/singers. This version is energetic, “in your face” and seemed to me less “innocent” than the previous version. It’s always been a chaotic piece, raising issues of anti-war, free love, sex, drugs, enlightenment, self discovery, freedom, and brave hopes/illusions of the possibility of an “Age of Aquarius” complete with “harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derision, golden living dreams of vision, mystic crystal revelation and the mind’s true liberation…” (I did that all from memory; aren’t you impressed?)
The costuming will take you back with some fun, festive and full-on hippie attire. The infamous MSU “media” light effects (Shannon Schweitzer) were appropriately psychedelic and trippy, There is, of course, the nude scene, tastefully done — and a good amount of “free love” simulation that could also offend some. It manages to be both new and old, inspiring and depressing… I realize my own “baggage” may color this opinion, and encourage everyone to experience it in their own way.
*Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2:00pm
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 7:30pm
**Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 7:30pm
Friday, April 24, 2015 at 8:00pm
Friday, April 24, 2015 at 11:59pm (Midnight Show)
Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 8:00pm
Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 2:00pm
* Director Pre-Show Discussion Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 1:15 PM
** Post-Show Discussion on Thursday, April 23, 2015 (Following the Performance)
Tickets are available from the Wharton Center Box Office, 1.800.WHARTON, whartoncenter.com