Every generation has its phase of rebellion, of setting itself apart from the elders and challenging the status quo. Can the new generation learn from the past revolutions? Can they relate to the dreams and needs of their predecessors?
Hair, celebrating its 50th anniversary at Mainline Theatre, is an exuberant show vibrant with youthful abandon and joy. Truly, the star of the show is the music. It is remarkable that some of the songs, “Aquarius”, “Good Morning Starshine”, and “”The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)”, are still lovely and poignant in spite of the years and the changed culture.
It is surprising how some of the issues the show digs into are just as relevant today as in the 60’s: ethnic prejudices and stereotypes, sex, and protest against injustice. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the draft, Hair unflinching confronts the politics of the war and how it destroys youth. Other themes of religion, drugs, and flower power may seem quaint or strange to today’s audience. But what will the future generations say about the values of nowadays?
The cast is wonderful- all very good singers, non-stop energy, always engaging with the audience. The staging is rough around the edges but it does not detract from the big performances as the players make full use of the space. The music is performed by live musicians and brings extra dynamism.
The 60’s is often romanticized by selective memories or images of the period. Hair demonstrates that it was weird, crazy, scary, and loving. Perhaps these experiences are not too far removed from today’s youth culture.
Warning: 18+. The show contains nudity.
Photo credit: Diane Dupuis
Hair- The Original Tribal Love-Rock Musical: presented by In the Wings Promotions and by arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.. Music by Galt MacDermot. Lyrics and Book by Gerome Ragni and James Rado. Directed by Nadia Verrucci. Show runs until September 9; Mainline Theatre, 3997 St-Laurent. For tickets call 514-849-3378 or go to www.mainlinetheatre.ca