It marked the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” It was also shocking when it debuted on Broadway in the era of the ’60s flower children. And now Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is back to cause a sensation at the Pantages Theatre for a three-week engagement, January 5 through 23. But did you know that Hair has “roots” to the Los Angeles theatrical community?
Back in 1968, Hair had its West Coast premiere production open on Sunset Boulevard, about six months following the production’s Broadway opening. It played the Aquarius Theatre (just two blocks from the Pantages), and had a parade of fresh, young faces as part of its cast during its two year run. Among the Hair “tribe” members who were seen during that time were Ben Vereen, Meat Loaf, Ted Neeley, Jennifer Warnes, Kay Cole, and the debut of many other talented performers. The original Broadway team reunited to mount the L.A. production.
A decade later, a Hollywood movie was made featuring John Savage, Treat Williams and Beverly D’Angelo. Milos Forman directed the big screen adaptation of Hair, but there were major plot changes from the stage version which put the focus on the hippie culture and sexual revolution. Now Hair is back on stage in Hollywood with its original story celebrating humanity. It endeavors to perpetuate the ideas of love and equality. That’s what was at the heart of the original show, and it’s a theme that resonates today.
This version of Hair (which does have a dimly lit 20-second scene with nudity at the end of Act One) won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, as well as many other awards. Plus, with all the memorable songs from the show, the current cast recording was nominated for a Grammy Award for musical show. “Age of Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “Easy to be Hard,” “Where Do I Go,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” and, of course, “Hair,” were among the chart-topping hits that came from the celebrated musical Hair, part of the Broadway/LA season of shows.