Sunday, March 3, 2024


Broadway’s revival of HAIR offers an amazing experience that transcends the limits of humanity and embraces the pure goodness that exists in all of us! Any New Yorker who has ever felt that familiar sting of loneliness, the hungry grey skies of winter swallowing you whole, or the hopelessness of the rat race… this musical is for you.

HAIR is the story of a 1960’s hippie tribe of revolutionaries who have dropped out of school and live on the streets surrounded by “the earthly joys of sex and weed and wine”(to quote one of my fave bands from Pittsburgh- the Clarks!). The boys have all gladly burned their Vietnam draft cards… except one conflicted young man, Claude, played beautifully by Gavin Creel, whose sense of duty and desire to please his family lead him to cut his beloved “hair” and don an army uniform in place of his patched up jeans.

This musical screams relevancy in 2009- the year of “YES WE CAN”. LOVE! PEACE! EQUALITY! HOPE! TOGETHERNESS! Somewhere deep inside of us, we all pine for these ideals….A world where we are brothers and sister despite bloodlines, where hatred is not an option, where understanding and good will reign supreme. “We are all one”, exclaims one tribe member. Black, white, yellow, red, gay, straight, old, young, healthy, sick…no matter how you may be labeled, HAIR gives us a full dose of sun – shining in! HAIR invites us to seriously consider what the world would be like if we all just “did whatever we wanted, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody!”. Kudos Broadway. Hope to be there someday…and hope to be involved in something I could be believe in, like this.

The original production burst onto the Broadway scene in 1967, illuminating the ever so real issues of race, sexuality, politics, and war. The actual plot may be thin, but HAIR boasts a creative team that somehow manages to pump it with life. Through the innovative direction of Diane Paulus and the earthy, improvisational choreography of Karole Armitage, we laugh, cry, and feel completely inspired. The tribe members, who have moved from starry Central Park (2007) to the confines of the Al Hirschfield Theater, explode through the fourth wall and flood the audience throughout the entire show. They are all superb. Too many stand-outs to name. Just go see it. It really is impossible to feel anything but, well….”unadulterated joy”, (their most publicized quote!).

If you are sitting along an aisle, you may be so lucky as to have a tribe member dangle his hair in your face or throw a daisy to you… maybe even belt out one of over 40 hit songs right in front of your face! I was in the balcony and got tons of action! The last and final adhesion of audience to cast comes at the finale when throngs of audience members jam out on stage in complete rock concert fashion! Now everyone can dance on Broadway. :) HAIR is not a Broadway show, it’s a Broadway experience, a Broadway extravaganza, a Broadway catharsis, and the closer you are to the stage, the brighter shines the sun.

Special Holla to Anthony Hollock, tribe member with kick-ass hair who’s a fellow Point Parker! Go PPU!!

Official Review by Sheena DiMatteo
Performance: HAIR
Choreography: Karole Armitage
Venue: Al Hirschfeld Theater
Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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