'Hair' opens at Pantages Theatre

HOLLYWOOD - The 2009 Tony Award-winning musical revival of "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical," is now playing at the Pantages Theatre for a limited engagement through Jan. 23."Hair" won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival as well as the Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical. The "Hair" cast recording was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. With a score including such musical numbers as "Let the Sun Shine In," "Aquarius," "Hair" and "Good Morning Starshine," "Hair" depicts the birth of a cultural movement in the 60s and 70s that changed America forever. The musical follows a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free-love in a society riddled with intolerance and brutality during the Vietnam War. As they explore sexual identity, challenge racism, experiment with drugs and burn draft cards, the show "resonates with an irresistible message of hope more than 40 years after it first opened on Broadway." Originally produced off-Broadway at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in October 1967, "Hair" became an almost immediate sensation, a lightning rod for the New York's hippie subculture, who embraced the show's progressive themes. It also was the target of significant controversy because of its depiction of sexuality and drug use, and the presence of explicit nudity and profanity. The show moved uptown, and in April 1968, opened on Broadway, where it went on to run for 1,750 performances, spawning numerous productions throughout the U.S. and Europe. "Hair" has roots to Hollywood dating back to 1968, when the West Coast premiere production opened on Sunset Boulevard, just two blocks from the Pantages, about six months following the production's Broadway opening. The newly-christened Aquarius Theatre, re-named in honor of one of the show's hit songs, would be "Hair's home for two years. More than a decade after the show became an international sensation, United Artists released a screen adaptation of the story that featured John Savage, Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo. Directed by Milos Forman, who had won an Academy Award for his direction of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the big screen adapation of "Hair" substantially changed the plot of the stage version. And while "Hair" creators were credited on the film, they were vocal in their displeasure with the changes implemented to their story. Tickets for "Hair" start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.BroadwayLA.org or by calling (800) 982-2787. The show is suitable for young adults ages 13 and older, but parental discretion is advised. There is a dimly-lit 20-second scene with nudity that is non-sexual in nature.

********** Published: January 13, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 39