According to reports (and in spite of some fears to the contrary), the Broadway revival of Hair which opened earlier this week is thriving thanks to rave reviews from critics — in fact, they hit $500,000 in ticket sales yesterday. That’s huge, especially “in this economy.” So what’s it about this musical that has people shelling out their hard-earned bones like they’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid? Let’s explore after the jump.
Hair makes you feel young. “This emotionally rich revival of ‘The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical’ from 1967 delivers what Broadway otherwise hasn’t felt this season: the intense, unadulterated joy and anguish of that bi-polar state called youth…Yes, I know there was a musical called ’13,’ about being exactly that age, that opened last fall, and that a lyrical revival of ‘West Side Story’ is now playing to packed houses only a few blocks away. But what distinguishes ‘Hair’ from other recent shows about being young is the illusion it sustains of rawness and immediacy, an un-self-conscious sense of the most self-conscious chapter in a person’s life.” [NYT]
Hair lets you rock out in a not Rock of Ages way. “Following the exit of ‘Rent’ and ‘Spring Awakening’ from Broadway, a vacancy exists for a rock musical that communicates viscerally with its audience. This revival does that and then some; it’s likely to invigorate kids coming fresh to the material as much as baby boomers disinterring memories of their youth. If this explosive production doesn’t stir something in you, it may be time to check your pulse.” [Variety]
Hair helps you understand your parents. “Everybody should see Hair. Parents should take their kids even if it brings up the whole Did-you-do-drugs-mommy conversation that I ducked for years. (It all seems wildly tame by comparison with today’s street drugs that are infinitely more crippling.) Twentysomethings should go on their own to see a little bit more of the “the sixties were so great” mantra their parents have been so relentlessly invoking.” [HuffPo]
Hair is the most relevant musical out there. “If you’re looking for nostalgia, fresh revivals of ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘West Side Story’ will fill the order. ‘Hair,’ for all its references to hippies, Vietnam, free love and the revolution, feels utterly of the moment in its exuberance, its power to involve and, in Diane Paulus’s entrancing production, to move us.” [Bloomberg]
All of this said, we’re still debating spending the over $100 a ticket to see this show. Even if it is a Tony frontrunner. What do you guys think?