Diane Paulus‘ Hair, written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, a Broadway revival performed at the St. James Theatre, is about the lives of hippies in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War as they try to dodge the draft and bring peace to the world.
Some say the best lighting is the one that goes unnoticed. I disagree; Joel Silver did a brilliant job on the flashy, colorful lighting in Hair. It really set the moods of the different scenes and even added a psychedelic aspect. Credit is also due to Paul Weimer for his beautiful bohemian set that incorporates the orchestra on stage. I barely noticed the orchestra. My favorite part of the set design was the patchwork carpet on the stage made of scraps from old rugs.
The music in this play was catchy and the finale “Let the Sunshine In” was great. My only complaint about the music was that at certain points, many songs came at once and it was hard to keep track of which song was being sung. The best moment of the play was when Claude was high. On his trip, he was in Vietnam, met by a man pointing a gun at him. Claude then reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a flower. It was such a genius, beautiful, poetic moment that captured the very essence of the hippie movement. Every single actor on the stage was exceptional. They were funny and totally in character throughout the whole play, even when interacting with the audience. While the musical should have had more of a plot, everything else was executed so well that the plot wasn’t as crucial.
Hair was a blast and definitely worth seeing. It is currently on a U.S. tour.