[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/3073?ns=guardian&pageName=There+today%2C+Hair+tomorrow%3A+hippy+musical+to+return+to+West+End+stage%3AArticle%3A1305817&ch=Stage&c3=GU.co.uk&c4=Musicals+%28Stage%29%2CTheatre%2CBroadway%2CStage%2CWest+End%2CCulture+section%2CUK+news&c6=Mark+Brown&c7=09-Nov-16&c8=1305817&c9=Article&c10=News&c11=Stage&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FStage%2FMusicals[/img]Broadway revival of 1960s show to open at the Gielgud theatre in April
For some it will be a case of about time too, as it was today announced that kaftans, nudity, spliffs, sodomy, and flower power are coming back to the West End stage.
Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who was a production runner on the original West End staging of Hair in 1968, said he was bringing last year's award-winning Broadway revival of the hippy musical to London. It is due to open at the Gielgud theatre in April.
Hair – with its songs Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In – was like a jolt of electricity when it opened off-Broadway but it was also of its time, feeding into growing anger at the war in Vietnam as well as free love and the sexual revolution.
Mackintosh said the time felt right for a revival. "The rejection of the war in Vietnam has now morphed into the world's concern at what is happening in Afghanistan. A period musical is once again as contemporary as today's headlines."
He said Hair was more than just a musical – it was "a celebration of life, love and freedom". He added: "When it originally opened, my friends who were never interested in the theatre flocked to see it because it mirrored their own sentiments, as peace, love and anti-war feelings were being expressed all over the world. Its success was not just theatrical but social."
Hair opened on Broadway in April 1968 and the London version opened at the Shaftesbury theatre in September, giving a West End debut to Tim Curry in a cast that also included Richard O'Brien, Paul Nicholas and Elaine Paige. It was staged just after the demise of theatrical censorship in the form of the Lord Chamberlain's office, and it celebrated nakedness and sex and rude words.
The nudity got the most headlines, although the Guardian's reviewer, Philip Hope-Wallace, thought it quite innocuous. "It is, in fact, the sort of spectacle which would raise no eyebrows on mixed bathing beaches in Sweden, but is certainly quite a far cry in a west London theatre from the first night of The Second Mrs Tanqueray when 'nice' couples wondered if they ought not to leave the auditorium."
The new version has met with a warm critical response and, after talks with Equity, the full Broadway cast will open the show in London. The union sees it as a good deal because it will be part of an exchange agreement, meaning British actors will be allowed to perform in New York. Also, the intention is to hire a more British cast once – or if – it takes off.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
View the full article
Guardian: There today, Hair tomorrow: hippy musical to return to West End stage
No replies to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users