This past Sunday, I had the extreme luck to [finally!] receive tickets to the Public Theater's production of 'HAIR' playing [for free!] in Central Park at the Delacorte Theatre. [I had only been trying every day for the past 2 weeks, but who's counting :) ] It was one of the best, most amazing things I have ever seen, and am so excited I had the chance to see it before I leave N.Y.C. It really connected with me, in a way I didn't even expect it to. I love learning about, and all things related to the '60's, [sometimes I think I was alive in the '60s, but that's a whole other thing...] so right away I was invested in this story, and I was already a big fan of the movie*, so I was familiar with the plot and music, which is a fantastic score of 60's rock/folk meets the world of show tunes. While 'HAIR' is often seen as a really dated show, [Vietnam War, draft cards, drug references, etc...] it is still so incredibly valid and relate-able in today's world. The US is involved in an unpopular War, that not many people believe in, and can't seem to get out of, it's just not being shown the same way as in the '60s--we aren't being shown the images of dead and injured soldiers and civilians like we were back then. And while I might not want to see that on the nightly news as I sit down for dinner, I think it should and needs be seen, and should have been seen from the start. Maybe our generation would have done something about it, the way the young people of the '60s did with the Anti-War Movement had it been forced down the public's throats...I really could talk about this all day, but that's not the point of this blog nor this post.
The point of this post is to share with you some of the amazing images, music, and of course, fashion inspirations, that have come from the show, the times, and the movement. 'HAIR' stars the love of my life, future best friend**, and Tony Award nominated actor, Jonathan Groff [last seen as the original Melchior Gabor in Duncan Sheik and Stephen Sater's amaaaazing musical, Spring Awakening] as Claude Bukowski, and equally awesome Will Swenson as Berger, as well as a ridiculously talented ensemble cast--and when you're watching them, you can tell they believe in, and are incredibly passionate about the message and material they're presenting. You can also tell they are genuinely having so much fun and such an amazing time being out there, which makes it that much more of a treat for the audience. It was so exciting and refreshing to see this. There is one point in the show where the cast is singing, and they begin to walk off stage, continuing singing, and b/c the 'backstage' of the show, is under the seats, [the Delacorte is an outdoor theatre!] you can hear the cast singing from underneath you--it gives me goosebumps thinking about it now. It was also really cool to see the costuming--not stereotypical 'hippie' looks of too much tie-dye, and peace signed shirts. I feel like the costume designer stayed really true to what teenagers in the late '60s were wearing--military garb, patched denim, paisley printed frocks, etc. Another really awesome thing about 'HAIR' - it was the first show produced by the Public Theater in 1974, and in honor of that, last fall they staged a 40th anniversary revival concert at the Delacorte, that had over 1000 people in the standby tickets line all 3 nights. When they decided to revive the actual show this summer, they invited the entire cast from last summer to participate again. So, kudos to that, Public Theater.
l-r: jonathan groff as claude, will swenson as berger, jonathan groff as claude singing 'i got life'
Here are some photos of some designers interpretation of the hippie look and style of my favorite era...
l-r: anna sui fall 06, bcbg max azaria fall 07, chanel resort 08
etro spring 08, marc by marc jacobs spring 07, nina ricci spring 08
Aaaand to leave you wanting to see the show, here are some clips from a preview concert the cast did outside of the theory store in N.Y.C.'s Meatpacking District on July 9th. They are two of my favorite songs from the show: 'I Got Life' and 'The Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine.' Enjoy!
* a big thank you to Mrs. Hellstrom's and her 11th grade Advanced English class lesson plan for introducing me to this musical
**if i have anything to say about it, we'll be best friends. we've met once...at the spring awakening stage door...so i'm sure it'll eventually happen :)