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Review: ‘Hair’ a timely tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll




November 15, 2016
Written by: Matt Maielli
Published by: The Pitt News

As the entire cast of Pitt Stages’ “Hair” strips naked under low blue stage lights upstage, a hippie mulling over his Vietnam draft card downstage sings, “Where is the something? Where is the someone that tells me why I live and die?”

This is “Hair’s” most iconic scene and is no less iconic, or shocking, in a college production. This is, after all, the same interracial New York play that defined “rock musicals” for decades after its opening, most recently with a 2009 Broadway revival. The cast, noting the show’s significance renewed after the results of the 2016 election on Tuesday, offered a free show last Wednesday, a day earlier than previously scheduled and doled out hugs in costume outside the Cathedral.

The University theater department’s production of the show runs until Nov. 20 at the Charity Randall Theater with showtimes from Wednesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

“Hair” follows the “tribe,” a band of hippies in the late ’60s Big Apple who preach freedom, peace, love and drugs. The audience meets Berger (Matt Keefer) first, a free spirit who takes off his jeans and asks an audience member to hold onto them after the first song. There’s Sheila (Sarah Fling), a political activist, and Woof (Davis Weaver), an odd soul who “grows things” and is obsessed with Mick Jagger. Woof says he’s not gay — though his flirting with Berger suggest otherwise to the rest of the tribe.

As the tribe takes turns, introducing each other through song, we meet Hud (Harry Hawkins IV), a black militant who declares himself the “President of the United States of Love,” and pregnant Jeanie (Julia de Avilez Rocha), who was knocked up by a “speed freak” but wishes it was by another member of the tribe, Claude. Claude (Dan Mayhak, who has a voice like Hozier) is a New Yorker so stoned he thinks he’s from Manchester, England, and fights with himself and the rest of the tribe about his draft application, providing the only thread of story to this trippy, character-driven musical.

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Link to the full review here.