It's been two weeks since I last posted. We just opened our third week tonight to a terrific audience! In fact, almost every audience has been terrific. People are overwhelmed and thrilled by this show every night. It's so wonderful to be back inside this experience after eight years.
After the show tonight, after the audience had come onto the stage to dance with us, one voice rose above the crowd, an audience member, who called out to the rest of us, "Don't let this happen again! Vote Obama!" And the audience and cast cheered. And I thought to myself, yep, this is why we're doing Hair again. I can't imagine a show being more relevant right now.
And not only do audiences love it; the reviewers do too...
Judith Newmark wrote in The St. Louis Post Dispatch, “This is New Line’s third production of Hair in less than ten years, and you know why from the moment you smell the incense. Director Scott Miller has a wonderful feeling for this material; his production delivers the hippie world with sensual precision. It comes through in the exotic aroma, in the eye-popping set designed by Todd Schaefer, in the era-exact costumes by Thom Crain and the dreamy sound of Chris Petersen’s six-man rock band. Most of all, it comes through in the cast, an ensemble known as the Tribe.”
Andrea Braun wrote in PlaybackSTL, “Hair at New Line Theatre is unexpectedly, beautifully, joyfully, mournfully, tragically relevant again. Gerome Ragni and James Rado have turned out to be poet-prophets and their book and lyrics are given life by Galt MacDermot's eclectic rock score. . . I'm happy that New Line chose to produce Hair because I'd never seen it live; I am sorry that it can't just be a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the show but that it still has so much relevance. See it to celebrate, to mourn, and finally to celebrate again for there is hope and light and no matter how hard ‘they’ try, they cannot ‘end this beauty’.”
Chris Gibson said on KDHX-FM, “Scott Miller knows this material well, and his skilled direction keeps the action flowing and the actors focused. The tribe is well cast, and seem completely comfortable with one another. And they make a marvelous sound harmonizing together on this catchy score. Thom Crain's costumes add a nice air of authenticity. Chris Peterson's work on piano and conducting the small ensemble is impeccable. The band provides a solid pulse to this electrified revival meeting.”
Richard Green wrote on TalkinBroadway.com, “Much smoke is blown, and much adolescent naughtiness is waved like a banner. But just to see the glowing idealism on the faces of fine actors like Khnemu Menu-Ra, Aaron Lawson and others is somehow astonishing in this age of bitter disappointment and gloom, and to hear the folksy and dramatic songs of Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot raised so beautifully is a great pleasure. . . . For the generation of psychedelic awakening and sexual revolution, this lock of Hair is a sentimental touchstone and a heart-warming bit of modern Americana.”
What more can I say?
I also have to mention this -- tonight was Ryan's birthday (who plays Sheila) and she brought love beads for the whole tribe, and each of us got a necklace with beads that spelled out our tribe name. Very cool. Thanks, Ryan! After the love bead bracelets that T. Love made for all of us before we opened, there's a lot of love spreadin' around...
On with the Groovy Revolution!