Give me a head with hair…long, beautiful hair. It’s the crowning glory of women and some men pay good money to have it. Besides being a commodity, of sorts, it’s the name of a theatrical musical legend and Playcrafters of Skippack is prepping for its summer unveiling.
Hair, the multi award-winning musical (book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni; music by Galt MacDermot), debuted on Broadway in 1968 and it’s been traveling the world ever since, bringing the classic themes of peace, love, war and friendship.
“It’s an important musical for musical theater,” said Assistant Director/Producer Justin Bwint of the first “concept musical” done on Broadway. “The musical derives from the willingness to push boundaries.”
Those boundaries, among others, include protesting, sex, drugs, the Vietnam war, civil rights, women’s rights movement...
“…People coming out to express their passions and frustrations,” said Bwint of the show which is a theatrical representation of the Hippie Movement, where protests and fighting for what one believed became a radical norm. In fact, what the timeless classic has done for entertainment has also lent to more than just theater. Cultural manifestations of the hit musical are still with us today.
The plot line centers on Claude (played by Stephen Barszowski, Jr.) who receives a draft notice and is torn between pleasing his parents (played by Matthew Mitlas and Suzanne Rainear) or being true to his own beliefs. His buddy, Berger, is played by Vince Rostkowski. Other players include: Tyreese Kadle (Hud), Roseann Enwright (Sheila), Nicolette Adams (Jeanie), Chelsea Aubert (Crissy), Kuhoo Verma (Dionne), Evan McElhiney (Margaret Mead), Tyler Ivey (Cris), and tribe members include Morgan Bergey, Lizzy Boehm, Nathan Bunyon, Maliah Buxton, Rachel Hodgins, Lindsay Lohr, Olivia Norton and Sarah Shin. Vocal Director is Brian Shapella.
The first rock musical of its time, the broad musical score of well known hits including “Age of Aquarius,” “Easy to be Hard,” and “Hair,” will be performed live with a nine-piece orchestra and contains a couple of new songs (“Dead End” and “Hippie Life”).
“The cast is so vocally strong both individually and as a unit,” said Director Kevin Binder. “It’s been a pure joy (to work with them).”
Some may pose the question: Is Hair, a show from the 60s, relevant?
To that, Binder responds: “I always say yes, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with the message of peace and love. The last song is “Let the Sunshine In.” It blows the roof off in not just range but emotion. It’s thrilling.”
Please note: Hair has a reputation for containing a nude scene at the end of Act 1; however, there is no full frontal nudity in Playcrafters’ performance. Also, while there are some minor changes to the language in the Broadway version, adult topics (drug use and open-mined sexual candor) have not been censored, so it might not be appropriate for children.
Performances are slated for July 17 to 19, July 25 and 26, July 31, Aug. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. Matinee on July 27 at 3 p.m.
Playcrafters of Skippack presents Hair at the Barn at 2011 Store Road at Rt. 73 in Skippack. For more information, call 610-584-4005 or www.playcrafters.org.