DC Theatre Scene: HAIR

HAIR crop blueThe central relationship is a complicated love triangle between three tribe members: Claude, Berger and Sheila. Claude is the dreamer, sensitive, gentle, and playful. Paul Scanlan brings out the sweetness and the complexities of Claude, a young man torn by the desire to escape society’s pressures and do what is right by his family.

By contrast, Berger, is the wild, satyr-as-played-by-Hippie-Jesus ring-leader of the tribe. The gifted Josh Sticklin just is Berger – you cannot fake seduction, charm, sexuality, and still keep a twinkle in your eye. Woven between Claude and Berger is Sheila (Caroline Wolfson bringing sensitivity and effortless grace to the role.)

If, like me, your only exposure to the songs has been recordings, this cast and the kick-ass band (under the direction of Jake Null) will make every note and lyric stick with you long after they have hung up their tie-dye.”

Harmony and understanding converge from all aspects of the production.  Collaborating with co-directors Mark A. Rhea and Susan Marie Rhea,  the designers give the youthful cast a fertile playground in which to seduce us back to the late-60s for the ultimate be-in – from the scenic design by Matthew Keenan, ably lit by Allan Sean Weeks, and the subtle sound design by Tony Angelini. The silky, vested and fringed wardrobe by costume designer Chelsey Schuller is right on the money, too. And what would Hair the show be without the ‘down to there’ hair that is celebrated as a symbol of the free-spirit, tune-out and turn-on vibe that is central to the show. Craig Miller has worked wonders with hair of all shapes and sizes, real and wigged.

When the tribe sings together, the effect is often chilling: “Aquarius,” lead by Ines Nassara as Ronni, raises goose-bumps. And the closing sequence, “The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)” and “Eyes Look Your Last,” left me breathless.

Read the Full Review at DC Theatre Scene