Hair


The Hippies are at the Hirschfeld – Hallelujah! The current revival of Hair, the seminal 1960s American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is not to be missed. I’ve seen this production, including the iteration from the Park last summer, ten times and counting, with tickets for my eleventh and twelfth viewing already purchased.

Hair follows a group of passionate young people “who care about strangers, who say they care about social injustice” and who love to live life. It begins by heralding in the Age of Aquarius and then we are soon introduced to the beautiful Hippies who will be our guides, including
Claude (played by the passionate Gavin Creel), Woof (embodied by the endlessly talented Bryce Ryness) and Jeanie (brought to life by the exuberant Kacie Sheik). When Claude receives his draft notice (the show takes place in 1967) he grapples with what to do.

Really, what the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is about is passion: Caring so deeply about something you’re moved to action. This show shows young people being free and fighting for what they believe is right. This show empowers people to stand up for equality and justice and freedom. And it practices what it preaches.

On October 11, 2009, the producers of Hair canceled that day’s performance so that the entire cast, crew and production team could lead the Broadway community and others in a march on Washington for Equality Now! The
National March for Equality was organized in part by Cleve Jones, a disciple of Harvey Milk, and successfully endeavored to show strong numerical support for equality for all. (Read: Marriage Equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.) The fact that everyone involved in the production was a part of putting the words they utter eight times a week into action speaks volumes as to why the show is a success.

In less passionate and honestly affected hands, this show would come off as inauthentic and it would feel like some kids dressing like hippies on Halloween. Instead, this Tribe of Hippies comes together eight times a week to create a beautiful and safe environment where, to paraphrase the show, everyone can be free; be whoever they are and do whatever they want to do – just as long as they don’t hurt anybody.

I think what makes me feel so connected to this show is that I identify as a hippie liberal and when I’m dancing with the Hippies, I don’t feel judged. I don’t feel inhibited. I don’t feel like I need to apologize for who I am, what I think or why I like something. I can just shake my hair (and my groove thing) and know that I’m surrounded by love.

Peace.

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