Friday, March 23, 2007
The impossibility of Hair, the musical: Marjorie Lyons Playhouse; Mar 22-24, 29-31, 8 pm
"The play is set in New York City, 1968, and follows a group of disaffected youths," says the press release. It continues, "Their lives are centered on free love, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests and the pursuit of freedom of expression."
Just to try to capsulize the period in those particular phrases hints to me of the impossibility of understanding that era. For starters, young lives were a balancing act in '68. School, jobs, parents, straight friends: these all had to be integrated into the intoxicating new world of easy drugs, merry-go-round sex and what to do about the war.
To assume you could find a cadre of drama students who understand the philosophy of countercultural youth is probably equally foolhardy. To study Hair - and I'm not going to take up the credibility of a play designed to skim the profit off the cultural upheaval - is to study the mistakes of Vietnam. To inquire into Vietnam is to gain insight into the US in Iraq. And I frankly see no one headed in that direction among the young.
The value in this staging would be in re-opening old wounds. How long has it been since you had a hearty argument over the sins and insights of the beats, hippies and freaks? Maybe there's something yet to be gained from the long-buried philosophical arguments.
Featured players: Heather Bickham, Adam Boyd, Cameron Bradford, David Fitzgibbons, A.J. Haynes, Ae’jay Mitchell, Andre’ Pitre, Stephen Scarlato, Leah Tennyson, Nate Wasson, Karisca Wheeler and Amy Williams.
Student production team: Marissa Brown, Amy San Pedro, Jeffery Kitchens; Savannah Baggerly, Kalah Roberts, and Neecee Blackwell.
Director, CL Kip Holloway.
Katie DuPont, choreography.
Lights and sets, Don Hooper.
March 22-24, 8 pm
Mar 29-31, 8 pm
Mar 25, 2 pm
Box office: noon to 4 p.m.
$15. adults, $13, seniors.