Reviewed by Gavriel Nelson
I recently saw the Broadway production of HAIR. It would be impossible for me to describe this show in one word. There are so many aspects one can take into account, like so many other shows.
There is, above all, the amazing idea and theme of the show that shine above all. This show's theme is about the yearning for freedom, individuality, pacifism, love, and of course peace. The show's "tribe" is made up of 32 people and yet each one is an individual, standing out in his or her own way.
The score and lyrics are out of this world. Written by Galt McDermot in the late 1960's the music was loved the moment it came out. There are over 35 songs, forcing the songs to tell the story, just like the book of a regular show would. It emanates all that the show is about, without being so obvious as to use the songs as some type of "singing plot", if I may call it that. Though a few songs do this, as McDermot actually wanted to make as many songs possible. An example being "Frank Mills", which stated out as a speech, then transitioning into a song.
The lighting is amazing, at one point when the "cops are coming" the lights make you believe you are at a real raid and for a secong you are scared almost into believing you are being arrested, even though there is actually not one person even portraying a cop. The choreography is also unbelievable. It is very subtle, which is a strong point considering that the story deals with hippies and an overpowering choreography would be very out of character for the type of musical that this is.
HAIR breaks boundaries in so many ways, yet two stand out. First, at the beginning of the show, Berger who is portrayed by Will Swenson, breaks down the "fourth wall" of the stage (the fourth wall is the idea of a type of separation between the audience and the cast) and starts interacting with the audience. The tribe (cast) makes you feel like you are part of their experiences and journeys and like you are in the show. I can not even say HAIR is my favorite show, not because I don't like it but because it is on a whole other level. Which brings us to our final point. HAIR isn't like other shows. It is part of its own world, and that is what makes it great.
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