The audience is thrown into the “be-in” from the get-go as Ronny (Ines Nassare) launches into an uplifting “Aquarius.” Her beautiful, powerful voice gets our attention, and then when Berger [Josh Sticklin] introduces himself by throwing himself, literally, into the audience’s lap, the sensual nature of the Hair experience has begun.
Although the show exists primarily within a more flamboyant space, a space of communal love, its undercurrent of repressed intimacy occasionally pops out, as in the song “Easy to Be Hard,” sung by Sheila (Caroline Wolfson) to Berger.
The nine-member orchestra, led by pianist conductor Jake Null, does a splendid job handling the music, keeping it fresh and lively at all times.”
Another standout was Act II’s extended hallucination. Again demonstrative of Hair’s edgy perspective on America’s cultural-political milieu at the time, the production team headed by lighting designer Allan Sean Weeks and properties designer Carol Hood Baker creates a visual parade worthy of the racial, cultural stereotypes then permeating the media.
Of course, I have to mention the show’s finale, “Let the Sunshine In” or rather “The Flesh Failure” not only because of the song’s popularity but because the ensemble really does the song proud, capturing the emotional catharsis of the play and sending everyone into a rousing ovation.
Scenic designer Matthew Keenan has once again creates a set that looks like it belongs in the rough-hewed space and that also provides the huge cast with enough room to appear comfortable (most of the time).
Costume designer Chelsey Schuller has done the “hippies” proud with her elaborate tapestry of patterns and layers.