First produced as a touring version for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008, HAIR played to sold-out houses in its two performances at SBHS, and its four performances at the Charlotte Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it was named a Pick of the Festival by the Edinburgh Scotsman. Otto Layman, now in his 20th year at the SBHS Theatre helm, has long wanted to explore the musical in a longer version, and he will have that opportunity when HAIR opens April 29, 2016 in Santa Barbara.
A new Broadway milestone was set in 1968 when HAIR, the first rock musical, opened to mass popularity. Tackling controversial and explosive issues of the era in theatrically innovative fashion, the brash and exciting musical sustained a five year run at New York’s Biltmore Theatre. The show eventually spawned a total of fourteen national companies and produced eleven cast albums in different languages world-wide. The enormous success of HAIR paved the way for a series of ambitious rock musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent. Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the ”Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his parents (and conservative America) to serve in Vietnam, compromising his pacifistic principles and risking his life.
Numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation was released in 1979. A Broadway revival opened on March 31, 2009, earning strong reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical. In 2008, Time magazine wrote, "Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever." Given our interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and now our continued embroilment in Syria and the Middle East, HAIR is as relevant as the day it was first performed.
Musical Direction will be in the master hands of Dr. Jon Nathan, who returns after a remarkable orchestral performance in the Fall production of PIPPIN at SBHS. Costume Design is once again the province of Bonnie Thor.
HAIR opens April 29, and plays April 30, May 6, and May 7 at 7pm. In addition there are matinees at 2pm on April 30, May 7, and a special closing matinee on Mother’s Day, May 8.
Auditions will be held February 8 in the SBHS Theatre. Stay Tuned for More information.