Hair, The Musical

Hair, The Musical

Hair, The Musical
Book and Lyric by James Rado and Gerome Ragni
Music by Galt MacDermot
Directed by John DiDonna
Starring Corey Volence and Nathan Bartman
Seminole Community College, Lake Mary, FL

“Hair” is exactly what the 60’s were like, if you ignore the bad drugs, social diseases, and general lack of personal hygiene. A tribe of the young and restless flock to Greenwich Village and orbit around the magnetic Berger (Volence). They reject the bourgeoisie capitalist values of their parents, unless they need a few bucks to get a joint or some hummus. As with most non-conformists, they dress and act pretty similar, and as the show begins they emphasis their hip social conscience by rattling off their favorite drugs (“Hashish” sung by the Ensemble), sex positions (“Sodomy” sung by Woof / Fredy Ruiz) and pollutants (“Air” sung by Jeanie / Chelsea Adams) We meet little lost Claude (Bartman) who pretends he’s British (“Manchester, England”) but really snuck out of mom’s place in Flushing. He agonizes over burning his draft card – he prefers not to be shot, but he’s not really a revolutionary and just wants to party. If he stayed in High School he’d still have his deferment, but now that’s too late. A farewell joint from Berger leads to a long hallucinatory sequence about war and patriotism. Claude makes a tough call; his other option is hanging with Berger and his friends and living under a bridge.

“Hair” is possibly the best show I’ve seen at SCC. Director DiDonna pushes the cast out into the audience and uses the theater’s 70’s vintage brick work and staircases to great effect. The nudity of the original gets pulled under the community standards requirement, but Volence runs around for most of the first act in a fringed leather jock strap showing his commitment to natural hair. With a cast of thirty on stage, not everyone gets a Big Number, but Michelle Rogers “Good Moring Starshine”, Michael Sapp’s “Colored Spade”, and Jolie Hart’s “Frank Mills” were standouts, and of course the ensemble keynote “Hair” shook the house. Acting was excellent all around, and Chelsea Adams as Claude’s pregnant semi girlfriend made Bateman’s role snap to attention.

Backing up the acting was a live band of suitably hairy musicians and technicians. The tie-dyed stage tilted forward to showcase Casey Saxon’s choreography. Todd Kimbro provided vocal coaching, and there were genuine Floaty Special Effects on a back stage screen. The same screen opened the show by counting us back 40 year with a series of still ranging from Obama to Princess Di to Nixon, then brought us back to today with a reverse sequence. With an audience full of aging hippies and a crowd of youngsters who don’t see why telephones have to have wires, this really was a Be-In of Peace, Love and Understanding. The Age of Aquarius didn’t work out the first time, but tonight it seemed almost possible it COULD happen. But don’t get your hopes up…

For more information on the Seminole Community College Theater program, please visit http://www.scc-fl.edu/arts/theatre/

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