note: entire contents copyright 2007 by Beverly Creasey
The musical HAIR seems to come along at least once every decade since its controversial debut in l967—and I think I’ve seen almost all of the productions. The Broadway tours play the big houses, like the Colonial---which means you’re a long way from the stage and pretty far from any swell of emotion. At least, that’s how it’s felt to me. Now along comes the Footlight Club’s very close, extremely intimate fortieth anniversary production and WOW! You can feel the sparks. I grooved to the music like it was l967 again. If you want to be transported to the psychedelic decade of love, you have to hurry. The Footlight’s HAIR closes next weekend.
I’m a tough cookie when it comes to recreating my idealistic youth. I could rant for hours about films and TV shows which miss the mark but director Bill Doscher nails it. David Alger and Judy Maggs make the ‘60s costumes look exactly right, not the hippie retread threads which pass for fashion nowadays. These actors look and sound (thanks to music director Mario Cruz) so authentic, it made me nostalgic for the good old days of be-ins and protest marches.
Laurie “Fish” Fisher’s gorgeous, organic choreography fits like a glove in Steve Orr’s ingenious Central Park set. The tribe hully-gully, pony and Watusi, arms and hands stretching to the sky, as if they had been born to it. The glorious music fills the tiny Footlight hall and practically lifts you out of your seat. From the “Age of Aquarius” to “Let the Sunshine In” the show rocks!
It’s darn hard to pick highlights because every moment, every song is so moving but I’ll give you my faves: Rachel Baum’s ethereal “I met a man called Frank Mills” captures the innocence of the era, as does, believe it or not, Rishi Basu’s “Sodomy.” Jeffrey Charles Marcus, Mike Mosey and company’s “Long, Beautiful Hair” takes the roof off the joint and Danielle Schulman, Lauren Sprague and Rebecca Glucklich’s “Hello, Carbon Monoxide” is so delightful that Al Gore ought to make it his theme song. Santio Cupon delivers the goods with “I’m Black” and Rydia Vielehr, Mitzi Dorbu and Rachel Moliere punch up the satire with “White Boys.”
The whole show feels like an old-fashioned Love-In. Let your hair down. Tune in and turn on to the Footlight Club’s HAIR. It’s a spectacular, natural high.