The 40th anniversary of the Public Theatre presentation of Hair could not have been more appropriately staged than it was this summer at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. The outdoor venue, the trees, the lights, and most of all the actors playing out a script over 40 years old that is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. Hair, The American Tribal Love Rock Musical was around long before AIDS, Bosnia, Global Terrorism and Facebook. Yet somehow, this piece stands out as iconically in our national culture; a generation's emotions played out on stage. Times certainly to change - - or do they? Somehow we find ourselves in a similar situation today. Different people, different countries, different economics and social norms - yet just about every song rings just as true today as it did in 1968 when Galt MacDermot wrote the music and Gerome Ragni and James Rado wrote the book.
On "stage" (mostly dirt and grass) this time is a talented tribe of modern day activists - Headliner Jonathan Groff (In My Life, Spring Awakening) is uber adorable and even more talented at the tender age of 23 as Claude. He provides just enough fresh and innocent pared up along side his free spirited, hippie tribal peacemaker and protester. Will Swenson (110 in the Shade) sinks his substantial chops (and gorgeous, well maintained body) into the tribal leader, Berger. Patina Rena Miller, as Dionne, would have blown the roof off the theater if
there was one in the opening number, Aquarius.
Tickets for this show can be obtained in two ways - you can donate $165 (or more) to the Public Theatre. In return for that, they provide you with a ticket in advance to the show. If you would like to get a free one - everyone queues up at 1pm in hopes of being one of the lucky 1200 to get one for that night's performance. Most
On top of all this good stuff, you get to watch the show outside, in central park. What more could you ask? Run... don't walk... and get a ticket to the Be-In that's lasted over 40 years!