Review Capsules

Theatre Review (2011)

“Back When Even War Seemed a Bit Less Scary”, by Charles Isherwood,  New York Times, July 13, 2011.

LINK

(My Summary) In his review Mr. Isherwood gives us a brief history and summary of the musical. And also how the staging was simplified.

(Performance Quote) “From the perspective of our weary, unsettled times the turbulent period depicted in “Hair,” with its violent clashes over the Vietnam War and a groaning generation gap, seems like a vastly sweeter and simpler era.”

(Design/Tech Quote) “Mr. Burkhardt sings with a clarion fervor, and flings his ample brown tresses as energetically as he does the fringed leather G-string tied around his hips.”

London (2010)

“Hair”, by Michael Billington,The Guardian, April 14, 2010.
(My Summary) In this review Mr. Billington tells us that he sees HAIR in two different ways. Although it brings him back to 1968, when Rado and Ragni was performing, the touring company cast brings new life to the show.
(Performance Quote) “HAIR is part of all our yesterdays. But it is here given exultant new life by Paulus’s production. I can only salute the cascading energy of her cast led by Gavin Creel as Claude, Caissie Levy as the demonstrating Sheila, Will Swenson as the shaggily stoned, self-consciously hammy Berger and Sasha Allen as the brass-lunged Dionne.”
(Design/Tech Quote) “Karole Armitage’s choreography also keeps the joint jumping and Scott Pask’s design ironically enthrones the excellent band in a vast military truck. I wouldn’t deny for a moment that Hair is a period piece.”

Central Park Revival (2009)

“A Frizzy, Fizzy Welcome to the Untamed ’60s”, by Ben Brantley, New York Times, March 31,2009.
(My Summary) In this review Mr. Brantley says how not on main character dominate one another. The newest production seems to be the most surprising yet.
(Performance Quote) “The kids of “Hair” are cuddly, sweet, madcap and ecstatic. They’re also angry, hostile, confused and scared as hell — and not just of the Vietnam War, which threatens to devour the male members of their tribe. They’re frightened of how the future is going to change them and of not knowing what comes next.”
(Design/Tech Quote) “Scott Pask’s exposed-wall set is the perfect playground for a world in which imagination (aided by chemical substances) provides the décor.)

Theatre Review (2013)

Theatre Review: Town Hall’s “Hair” gets the musical’s Tribe vibe just right, by Lisa Kennedy, Dever Post online, May 2013.
(My Summary) This review is about nudity, pot and the race in the Tribe.
(Performance Quote) “Wafting faux marijuana smoke is likely to elicit knowing smirks given Colorado’s front-runner status in pot legalization. And the infamous all-cast nudity still occurs (in mostly discreet shadow) but seems rather beside the point. Yet the musical’s use of the N-word still carries an engaged sting.”
(Design/Tech Quote) “Tina Anderson’s scenic design has an appropriate haphazard feel. Persian rugs cover the stage. Linda Morken (see our “Oz” review on this page) appears to have had as much fun designing the costumes as the cast has wearing, and shedding, them.

Broadway (2009)

“Hair” The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, by Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway Review, March 31,2009.

(My Summary) This Review is about how good the show is but it is time for a new HAIR revival that is not excatly like the old one. Also how the set looks because this is the show that had just moved into the Hirschfeld Theatre.
(Performace Quote) “What Broadway desperately needs is a new Hair, not a new production of the old one: something that will identify today’s youth, with its fears and its loves and its music, to the mainstream and encourage a more complex understanding of where they’re taking the world. That would be a far richer tribute to this work’s lasting legacy than this accomplished, enticing, and thoroughly meaningless revival.”
(Design/Tech Quote) “Paulus, Armitage, and designers Scott Pask (sets), Michael McDonald (costumes), and Kevin Adams (lights) haven’t blindly recreated a steamy summer night in the Park. Instead, they’ve truly adapted their aesthetic: The setting is no longer a Park clearing, but a Broadway theater, visible to the back wall, that’s been occupied and transformed by supporters of free love, pacifism, and a psychedelic color palette.”
Washington, D.C. (2010)
“Hair” by Peter Marks, Washington Post, October 29,2010.
(My Summary) This review tells us about the music and some of the songs what the true meaning of them are.
(Performance Quote) “[…] Claude sings as his parents look on, mortified. Time and again, “Hair” reminds you of the rush that comes with exuberant declarations of independence.”
(Design/Tech Quote) “The technical challenge of making the lyrics of the boisterous score completely discernible remains to be conquered. “Hair” needs to be big and loud, but an audience wants to hear the words.”

Theatre Review (2008)

“Let the Sunshine In, and the Shadows”, by Ben Brantley, New York Times, August 8, 2008.

(My Summary) This review tells us about the hippies in HAIR, and about youth themselves.
(Performance Quote) “The hippies of this “Hair” are also struggling against a nascent sense that no party can last forever, and that they have no place to go once it’s over”
(Design/Tech Quote) “From the moment the ensemble members first swarm the stage, climbing over the semicircular fence that is a chief component of Scott Pask’s simple but savvy set, this “Hair” exists unconditionally in the present tense.

Review (2008)
“Hair @ Delacorte Theatre, New York”, by Natasha Tripney, MusicOMH, August 2008.

(My Summary) This review is about the production and how the cast was very strong through out.

(Performance Quote) “Things are clearly off to a winning start as powerhouse Patina Renea Miller as Dionne belts Aquarius as it’s never been belted before. Hers is a brief but notable performance strong enough to warrant a visit to this extraordinarily well-sung production of a show with plenty of bouncy, 1960s-style songs.”

(Design/Tech Quote) “It’s brave that director Diane Paulus and costume designer Michael McDonald have allowed Hair to be exactly what it is – a period piece.”

Review (2009)

“Hair”, by David Rooney, Vanity, March 31, 2009.

LINK

(My Summary) This review is about the outdoor production of the show.

(Performance Quote) “The characters’ unity of spirit is mirrored in their movements as choreographer Karole Armitage shepherds the group into a writhing mass, a sinuous human chain or splintering comets.”

(Design/Tech Quote) “Much credit goes to the design team’s skill at reconceptualizing the show for a proscenium theater. Suggesting a public space commandeered by hippie occupation, Scott Pask has littered the stage with rugs and splashed sunbeams and stars across a back wall punctuated by windows, doors, walkways and a tangle of stairs.”

Review (2011)

“Hair at the Pantages Theatre”, by Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2011.

LINK

(My Summary) This review is about how Paulus’s direction and how the characters relate.

(Performance Quote) “Steel Burkhardt, who plays Berger, the tribe’s free-spirited Peter Pan, develops a chummy rapport with the audience the moment he drops his pants and shows off his fringe loincloth.”

(Design/Tech Quote) “The high spirits never flag (thanks in large part to Karole Armitage’s breathless choreography) and similar to “The Donkey Show,” Paulus’ disco adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” there’s a feeling that any minute a full-blown rave might break out.”

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