The revival of Hair has been a long time coming to Broadway. In the decade we’ve lived in New York, this show has tried to come back a number of times: In 2001, City Center Encores! did the show and there was considerable talk about it going to Broadway (I saw this show and it enjoyed it). That same year, LA’s Reprise Theatre Company did a version that had some Broadway buzz around it too. In 2004, the Actor’s Fund staged an all-star concert version, which did yield a CD but no Broadway transfer. It took the show going back home, into the hands of The Public Theatre where the show was born in 1967, to regain it’s former glory.
The show was part of the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park series last summer and it won critical and audience raves. This time out the efforts to get it to Broadway were unstoppable. After a few extensions of the Central Park run, the show packed up and went inside the Al Hirschfeld Theatre where it’s been playing to packed houses since March.
The show is up for eight Tonys this season, making it the third most honored production of the season (tied with Shrek the Musical). It seems a lock to win Best Musical Revival (even against West Side Story). Other nominations include Best Actor in a Musical (Gavin Creel), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Will Swenson) along with Best Costumes, Best Lighting, Best Sound Design, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography.
I haven’t caught this production yet, but will be in the next few weeks. As a big fan of this musical, I do like what I see from cast appearances I’ve seen. The cast recently showed up on Late Show with David Letterman to recreate a performance the original cast did on that very stage for the Ed Sullivan Show 40 years before. This is a combination of “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In.”
And here’s something special from Theater Talk (this is a local PBS show that focuses on Broadway and off-Broadway) with current Claude Gavin Creel and original Claude (and the show’s librettist) Jim Rado singing “Where Do I Go?”
And, it’s worth noting that the new cast recording comes out on Tuesday via iTunes!
It’s a great revival with wonderful performances–especially from Gavin Creel. The score, of course, is filled with many groovy tunes, and this production is quite joyous. I didn’t want to leave the theater when it was over.