Magic Time!: HAIR
[Directors Mark A. Rhea and Susan Marie Rhea] understand that the essence of this show is the ensemble, the tribe, the company of singer-actors who play the parts and sing the songs. The love-in that is Hair can come into being only if we the audience believe there’s so much trust, cohesion, and affection among the company members that we’re a part of the happening too, that we are embraced by a communicable, vicarious sense of communal connection. In that respect, the Rheas reach perfection.
The terrific Paul Scanlan (as Claude) and the captivating Josh Sticklin (as his buddy Berger) head up an outstanding cast of tribe members that includes Danny Bertaux (Paul), Jamie Boyle (Hiram), Ian Anthony Coleman (Hud), Darius Tyrus Epps (Walter), Paige Felix (Natalie), Chad W. Fornwalt (Marc), Katie Furtado (Susannah), Autumn Seavey Hicks (Linda), Jade Jones (Leata), Emily Levey (Marjorie), Eben K. Logan (Dionne), Thony Mena (Jason), Christian Montgomery (Woof), Ines Nassara (Ronny), Lyndsay Rini (Crissy), Ava Silva (Diane), Kedren Spencer (Emmaretta), Dani Stoller (Jeannie), Ryan Patrick Walsh (Steve), and Caroline Wolfson (Sheila), featuring Peter Finnegan (dubbed Margaret Mead). By turns they each belt out a solo or more, and all sing gorgeous backup like the sustaining support system everyone longs for. Every moment onstage, they seem to genuinely enjoy one another, and their spirited mutual admiration is irresistible. This ensemble is not only highly skilled; it’s the kissingest cast I’ve ever seen.
It’s no mystery why Hair continues to thrive on stage and sustain its vital place in audiences’ hearts and minds. For better and for worse, the historical context in which it arose nearly a half century ago is no longer with us. But we have not lost our longing to belong. Hair reinvigorates that aspiration. Hair revives that idealism and lifts us.
DATEMarch 24, 2014