'Hair' returns to Pantages

HOLLYWOOD - The Tony Award-winning musical revival of "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical," will begin performances at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Jan. 5, playing a three-week engagement through Jan. 23, 2011."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. In 2009, the Public Theater production of "Hair" transferred to Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, beginning previews on March 9, 2009. The production was greeted with almost uniformly positive critical response. 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 60's and 70's 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 a message of hope more than 40 years after it first opened on Broadway. Originally produced off-Broadway at Joseph Papp's Public Theater in October 1967, "Hair" became an almost immediate sensation, a lightning rod for New York's hippie subculture, who embraced the show's progressive themes. It was also 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, where 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, renamed 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 adaptation 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 to see "Hair" at the Pantages Theatre start at $25 and may be purchased at www.BroadwayLA.org or by calling (800) 982-2787. The performance schedule for "Hair" is Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. There will be a special weekday matinee Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. While many find the show suitable for young adults (13 and older), parental discretion is advised. There is a dimly-lit 20-second scene with nudity that is non-sexual in nature. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

********** Published: October 21, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 27