By Larry Taylor/Garden Grove Journal
“Hair, ” the 1967 musical that swept the nation comes to Orange County in an award-winning revival which opened this week at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The legendary musical depicts the birth of the hippy/peace cultural movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s that changed America forever. Furthermore, theater-goers will get a chance to hear again such enduring classics as “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Aquarius,” “Hair” and “Good Morning Starshine,”
As those who “go back” know, the story follows a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free-love in a Nixon-era society that abides intolerance and police brutality during their protests of the Vietnam War.
The group explores their sexual identity while challenging racism and experimenting with drugs in this, the era of burning draft cards. Finally, the show still delivers a message of hope and joy more than four decades after it first opened.
With book and music by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot, the initial 1967 production ran for 1,750 Broadway performances and became the last original musical to introduce several Top 40 hits
This revival, directed by Diane Paulus, is not a museum piece. It has been reinterpreted or even re-framed. As the New York Times put it: “This emotionally rich revival of ‘The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical’ from 1967 delivers what Broadway otherwise hasn’t felt this season: the intense, unadulterated joy and anguish of that bi-polar state called youth.”
“Hair” can be seen at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa through Feb. 6.