H A I R è stato ideato da James Rado e Gerome Ragni, due attori in quel momen o senza lavoro, che volevano creare qualcosa di nuovo, qualcosa di diverso, qualcosa che portasse in teatro la meravigliosa e mozione che avevano provato nelle strade.
” Questa emozione” è stata quella degli Hippies dell’east Village di New York coi loro capelli lunghi, i cosiddetti capelloni, che amano la pace.
Secondo Rado “Hair” era destinato a Broadway.Il progetto fu rifiutato da molti produttori ed è stata una grande gioia
quando il produttore Joseph Papp li contattò per fare di Hair il primo spettacolo d’apertura al New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, an cora in costruzione, per un periodo di sei settimane.
A Papp era piaciuta l’idea di HAIR e suggerì a Rado e Ragni di
far entrare n el team un nuovo socio. Ciò portò all’ingresso di
Galt MacDermot, che familiarizzò con la cultura e la musica
hippy, al fine di comporre per lo spettacolo.Hair debuttò il 17 ottobre, 1967. Tuttavia, dopo le sei settimane non c’era ancora in vista nessu n altro “ingaggio”.
Le cose cambiarono quando Michael Butler decise di farne un film. Egli aveva visto Hair al Shakespeare Public Theater e se ne era subito “innamorato”. Decise così di impegnarsi nella produzione; In sieme a Papp Hair fu spostato nella discoteca,Cheetah.
In questo modo Hair aveva già raggiunto Broadway ,perchè la Dicoteca era situata nel punto in cui si trova oggi il Roundabout Theater, tra la 45a e la 46a Strada. Dato che Cheetah era all ora una discoteca molto di moda,Hair andava in scena verso le 7 di sera, per dar modo alle persone addette
alle pulizie, di mettere tutto a posto prima dell’apertura della discoteea e il conseguente arri vo della Folla!
Infine, a causa di problemi finanziari, Hair chiuse.. ma i produttori continuarono a volere che il Musical arrivasse al successo a Broadway. Per mantenere vivo Hair, Butler tentò di lavorare con Papp, fe cero un accordo ma poi Papp cambiò i termini perchè non credeva che Hair avesse un futuro. Così’Butler andò avanti da solo.
Nel frattempo, gli autori avevano rivisto la sceneggiatura e la musica dello spettacol o.Volevano nuove canzoni e anche un nuovo regista. Dopo negoziati tra gli autori e Butler, le modifiche furono accettate. Tom O’Horgan accettò di diventare il nuovo regista. Butler insistette affinchè James Rado prendesse il
ruolo di “Claude.”
O’Horgan aveva tre mesi di tempo per riformare il cast e rielaborare lo spettacolo. Le prove di Hair erano state sempre fatte presso l’ Ukranian Hall nell’East Village ma ora
bisognava trovare un altro posto. Butler trovò un accordo con
il proprietario del Biltm ore Theater, che si trova sulla 47a strada. Hair fu spostato nella sua nuova casa.
La Spettacolo debuttò a Broadway al Biltmore Theater il 29
aprile 1968. Si concluse il 1 ° luglio 1972 dopo il 1742 spettacoli.
C’è stata una riedizione di Hair nell’Ottobre del 1977 che si
è chiusa dopo 43 spetta coli. Oggi, HAIR viene eseguito in tutto il mondo — il che dimostra che la pace, l’amore, la libertà, e la felicità non passano mai di moda…(per Fortuna!!!)
(Adapted from material by Michael Butler, Didier C. Deutsch, and James Rado.)
Tradu zione by me..
HAIR was created by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, two out-of-work actors who, according to Rado, “were aware of the traditional Broadway format, but we wanted to create something new, somet hing different, something that translated to the stage the wonderful excitement we felt in the streets.” This “excitement” was that of the long-haired, peace-loving, freewheeling hippies of New York’s East Village.
According to Rado, “[We] intended HAIR for Broadway. [We] knew
that’s where it belonged and offered it to many of the established uptown producers. It was rejected again and again.” Naturally they were delighted when producer Joseph Papp approached them and proposed that HAIR become the very first production at the under-construction New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater for a limited run of six weeks.
Papp had liked HAIR’s premise, and suggested that Rado and Ragni develop a score. This led to the entrance of Galt MacDermot, who familiarized himself with the hippie culture
and music in order to compose the score for the show. HAIR opened at the Public Theater on October 17, 1967. However, that run
soon came to an end, with no new venue in sight.
That’s when Michael Butler entered the picture. He had seen HAIR at the Shakespeare Public Theater and loved it. He decided to
become involved in the production; jointly he and Papp moved HAIR to a disco, Cheetah. Geographically, HAIR had reached Broadway — Cheetah was located in the spot where the Roundabout Theater
is today, on Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets. Because Cheetah was still a working disco, HAIR had to start performances
early in the night (7 pm curtain, with no intermission) to clear the floor in time for the dance crowd.
Eventually, due to financial troubles, HAIR had to close. However, the production staff still wanted to see their show succeed on Broadway. To keep HAIR alive, Butler first tried working in concert with Papp: “Papp and I discusseed a first class coproduction. We made a deal and then Papp changed the terms. He did not believe in its future. So I we
nt it alone.”
In the meantime, the authors had revised HAIR’s book and music.
They said, “We want to shut down, go into rehearsal again with the new script and new songs and with a new director.” After negotiations between the authors and Butler, final changes were agreed upon. Tom O’Horgan agreed to become the new director.
Butler also insisted James Rado take over the role of “Claude.”
O’Horgan took three months to recast and rework the show. HAIR rehearsals took place at the Ukranian Hall in the East Village, yet no performace space was to be had. Finally, Butler was able to strike a deal with the owner of the Biltmore Theater,
located on 47th Street. HAIR moved into its new home.
The show opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theater on April 29, 1968. It closed on July 1, 1972 after 1,742 performances.
at peace, love, freedom, and happiness are never out-of-date!
(Adapted from material by Michael Butler, Didier C. Deutsch, and James Rado.)
- Best Musical Play (1776 won this category)
- Best Director of a Musical Play, Tom O’Horgan (Peter Hunt from 1776 won this category)
The “year” is 1968. The “place” is a park in Greenwich Village, NYC. Claude is seated alone on center stage. An altar and a flame are set before him. The Tribe slowly congregates on stage. Berger and Sheila join Claude , cut a lock of his hair, and put it in the fire as the Tribe opens the show with “Aquarius.”
Berger introduces himself, and sings about “Donna,” his lost love. The Tribe follows this number with “Hashish,” while Woof pays homage to all things sexual with “Sodomy.” Hud enters, hanging upside down from a pole, and sings “Colored Spade.”
Finally, Claude introduces himself (“Manchester, England”) and says, “I’m Aquarius–destined for greatness or madness.” The Tribe follows with “I’m Black” and “Ain’t Got No.”
They add to the list of their “can’t do’s” with “Dead End.”
Sheila, the politically active NYU student, is carried in to a fanfare while she sings, “I Believe in Love.” She leads the Tribe in a peace rally (“Ain’t Got No Grass,” “Air”). Jeanie, who sings “Air” with
friends Dionne and Crissy, reveals that she’s pregnant (by some “speed freak”) but she’s in love with Claude. The Tribe sings “Initials.” Berger then announces, “This, folks, is the psychedelic Stone Age.”
Claude is confronted by three sets of “parents” (played by the Tribe)
who batter him with their Work Ethic, American Values, and tell him his Vietnam draft notice has come in the mail. A conflict between “1968 and 1948” ensues (“I Got Life,” “Ain’t Got No,” reprise).
Later, Berger tells the Tribe about Claude having to go before the draft board. Berger has also just been expelled from high school (“Goin’ Down”) and is attacked by three Hitler-esque “principals.”
Claude returns, having passed his Army physical. Berger, Woof, and Hud try to develop ideas for freeing him from service in Vietnam.
Claude burns his draft card, but the Tribe discovers that in fact it’s his library card. A woman and her husband (tourists in a land of hippies) talk to the group. Claude, Berger, and the rest of the Tribe sing “Hair” for them. The woman, impressed, responds with “My Conviction,” and then reveals that she is not a “she” at all, but a transvestite!
Sheila joins the group, and she’s still “spreading the groovy revolution.” She talks about how she lives with Claude and Berger, and takes out a yellow satin shirt she’s brought for Berger. Berger begins to fool around–“slapping” her, stomping on the shirt, and yelling.
Claude and Sheila try to quiet him by covering his head with the shirt when Berger snatches it away from them and rips it. Sheila, upset by this, sings “Easy to Be Hard.” Berger takes the shirt and leaves to sew it back together. Claude and Sheila talk, and he gets her to admit that she’s “hung up” on Berger. Berger and Woof then give their
musical salute to the American flag (“Don’t Put it Down”).
It’s time for the Be-In! “Tourists . . . come to the orgy!” Jeanie tries to get together with Claude, but he rebuffs her. She is about to follow him to the Be-In when she spies Crissy. Crissy says that she’s
staying there, to waitf or “Frank Mills.” Back at the Be-In, the Tribe is singing “Hare Krishna” and getting high on love, life, and pot. Claude, about to burn his draft card, suddenly changes his mind (“Where Do I Go”).
The police intervene and “arrest” the audience–signaling intermission.
Crissy tries to listen to a song on a Victrola, but it is drowned out by the “Electric Blues.” The Tribe calls for “Oh Great God of Power,” but all they get is Claude dressed up in a gorilla suit. He’s just come from the induction center, and Berger and some Tribe members describe their version of the encounter.
Three of the women in the Tribe
sing the virtues of “Black Boys,” and are countered by three blond-wigged Supreme-lookalikes with “White Boys” (see photo). Berger really starts
things rolling by passing out the joints, and soon the Tribe is “Walking in Space.”
The action then focuses in on Claude’s trip. General Washington appears, at war with a group of Indians. They are joined by Abraham Lincoln (“Abie, Baby”), John Wilkes Booth,
Ulysses S. Grant, Calvin Coolidge, and Scarlett O’Hara. Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns appear, and an all-out war ensues.
This segues into “3-5-0-0,” and the ugliness of war against the Viet Cong. The Tribe invokes the words of Shakespeare (“What a Piece of Work is Man”) to try and rationalize this. Then, the trip ends (“How Dare They Try”), and the Tribe tries to call Claude back to reality, however he has some problems getting back into the present day.
The Tribe divides into groups to sleep under the light of the moon, and Sheila sings, “Good Morning, Starshine.”
A mattress is brought out “The Bed” and the Tribe celebrates it (after all, “Never can you sin in bed”). They separate from Claude,
and gather in a mass of Flower Power, banging sticks and pots and shouting anti-war chants. They call for Claude, but he’s nowhere to be found.
Claude appears in Army uniform, unseen by his friends, and explains, “I’m right here. Like it or not,they got me.”
(“The Flesh Failures”). Still unable to see him, the Tribe sings “Eyes, Look Your Last” in counterpoint with Claude’s final “Manchester, England.” Sheila reprises “The Flesh Failures,” leading the Tribe into “Let the Sun Shine In.
” At the close, Claude is again lying alone center stage. With his sticks, Berger forms a cross and lays it on Claude’s body.
Original Broadway Cast
(Featured role/song on the Original Broadway Cast recording is in parentheses.)
- Donnie Burks (“Abie Baby”)
- Steve Curry (Woof)
- Lorrie Davis (“Abie Baby”)
- Ronald Dyson (“Aquarius”)
- Sally Eaton (Jeanie)
- Leata Galloway (Tribe)
- Steve Gamet (Tribe)
- Walter Harris (“What a Piece of Work is Man”)
- Paul Jabara (“Electric Blues”)
- Diane Keaton (“Black Boys”)
- Hiram Keller (Tribe)
- Lynn Kellogg (Sheila)
- Jonathan Kramer (“My Conviction”)
- Marjorie LiPari (Tribe)
- Emmaretta Marks (“White Boys”)
- Melba Moore (Dionne)
- Natalie Mosco (“Black Boys”)
- Suzannah Norstrand (“Black Boys”)
- Shelley Plimpton (Crissy)
- James Rado (Claude)
- Gerome Ragni (Berger)
- Robert I. Rubinsky (Tribe)
- Lamont Washington (Hud)
A successful movie version of Hair was directed by Miloš Forman and released in 1979 with a cast including Treat Williams, Beverly D’Angelo and John Savage, Foley and Golden. The film’s storyline departs significantly from the musical.