Monday, February 28, 2011

Let the Sunshine In

The national tour of Hair may have ended its Pittsburgh run, but that just means people outside of the city have the chance to see it.

Hair isn't your average musical. The disadvantage of this is that some people don't seem to know what they're expecting going in - my guess is they see "Tony Award" and spring for it with their season tickets, and the advertising doesn't help. True, it's a fun tale of hippies protesting the Vietnam War and everyone knows "Aquarius," and sometimes even "Let the Sunshine In" or "Good Morning Starshine," but because of the nature of the show they can't show much else on TV. Here's the thing - Hair is full of sex, drugs, anti-war statements, and onstage nudity, which some clearly can't handle but I loved.

The timing for a Hair revival feels right. We're involved in a war most of us don't agree with, so the strong anti-war sentiment is familiar and relatable. Not to mention the fact that the show takes that feeling of inclusion a step further by interacting with the audience, climbing on seats, dancing, clapping, and best of all throwing flowers. At the end, the audience is even invited to dance onstage, which was wonderful.
While much of the show is light-hearted and fun, it doesn't always stay that way. I don't want to ruin the very poignant ending, but the inclusive end-of-show dancing is a good pick-up.

People of Minneapolis, Hair is now in your city. Embrace it.

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