14 January 2009

It's the Age of Aquarius (All Over Again)

I admit it. It's probably a clinical obsession at this point. But if you've seen it, then you're probably at least a little bit obsessed too -- so I'm not too worried about myself!! It is HAIR: An American Tribal Love Rock Musical, begun in 1964 by partners James Rado and Gerome Ragni and later appearing off-Broadway, on Broadway, and in various other threatres all around the world. And now, with previews beginning on March 6 and an opening day set for March 31, directed by Dianne Paulus (who also directed the musical when it premiered in Central Park last summer), HAIR is coming back to Broadway. And, although I was disappointed when I heard that Jonathan Groff wold not be reprising his role as Claude, I am excited at the prospective cast thus far, including Gavin Creel as Claude, Bryce Ryness resuming his role as Woof, Darius Nichols resuming his role as Hud, and Kacie Shiek resuming her role as Jeanie. Let me tell you, I've listened to at least 4 different cast recordings of HAIR, and these four people are still some of the best I've heard yet! (And on a slightly differnt note, Bryce Ryness has a great band called RYNESS, which I recently saw in concert at Sullivan Hall. Check out the band's myspace here.) The musical presents a strong anti-war statement, at a time when I think we need one almost more than ever. And, based on the success over the summer, I dare say that HAIR on Broadway will be a huge success, more so than ever before. Although HAIR always garnered positive reviews, it was also violently targeted and oftentimes attacked for its (at the time) taboo subject matter. For a good insider's look at some of these stories,check out Good HAIR Days by Jonathan Johnson, who performed in numerous productions of HAIR, primarily as the in-love-with-Mick-Jagger-but-not-homosexual Woof. Although the play lacks a linear storyline, all of the chaotic bits seem tied together by Galt MacDermot's beautiful feel-good soundtrack.

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