Diversions

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical Review

By Noah Fried, Contributor

The cast of Hair put on a fantastic performance about peace, love, and making a statement. Photo courtesy of Furman Theater

The cast of Hair put on a fantastic performance about peace, love, and making a statement.
Photo courtesy of Furman Theater

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, with book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and music by Galt MacDermot is definitely a snapshot of a different era. Due to the way that the show is written it is a snapshot displayed in a way that is hard to understand for first time viewers. Furman University’s version of this show is directed by theatre arts professor Maegan McNerney Azar and was advertised for mature audiences and for good reason, with countless slurs, implied sexual acts, and uses of the “F” word, the show is not exactly fun for the whole family.

That’s not to say that the show isn’t fun. It has numerous examples of comedy all over the spectrum from mooning the audience to jokes about orgies. The show features some very talented singers singing songs about drugs and identity. I particularly enjoyed the song “Marijuana” which highlighted the mix of voices in the cast.

The show is also a vehicle for numerous political statements. One of the more blatant ones was when the confederate flag was torn down to the ground. There were also words of free love and long hair as a symbol for freedom. There was a bra burning in which much skin was shown and even many draft cards were burned. You will have to go and watch the show to see which of the main characters burn their cards and which ones don’t.

When this play came out in the 1960’s on Broadway it started a grassroots movement of peace and love. Many of the songs that are featured become anthems of the “Hippie” social movement. Examples of these songs are “Let the Sunshine In,” “Age of Aquarius,” and, “Good Morning Starshine.” Many audience members now remember these songs from when they heard them at the time.

Much of the show is shown from a third person view of an acid trip featuring many true characters. Some of these characters were past presidents and famous figures like Abe Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. Whether or not the main character survives is something that you have to watch the show to know. With some shows it is hard to tell if watching them was a good use of time but, at the end of the day, I would definitely recommend this show to my friends; even though I probably wouldn’t recommend it to my family.

Categories: Diversions

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