Hair is considered one of the most controversial and ground break musicals of the 20th century. It’s themes of drugs, war, politics and sexuality have helped to shape a generation of musicals following it. It has often been referred to as the definition of a rock musical.
This musical about a hippie love tribe in the 1960’s and the counterculture that surrounds it is now playing at the Theatre Company of Lafayette.
Hair follows the story of Claude, a young love child, as he is drafted into the army and has to decide what to do. Does he give into his civic duty and join the army or follow his heart and stay with his love tribe.
For director, and MSU Denver alumni, Heather Frost producing Hair has been a dream a long time in the making.
Before coming back to school for a degree in theatre Frost owned a business and had a business degree. She doesn’t believe in regrets but admitted that it was a regret not getting a theatre degree, so she quit her business and followed her dreams.
It was here at the MSU Denver Theatre department that she tried to produce Hair for the first time.
“I pitched Hair to Dr. Hetzel when I was still in school, but I graduated before they were able to get it up and produced,” Frost said. “I graduated in the spring of 2011 and it went up in the fall of 2012.”
Although Frost missed her chance to be a part of the show as a student she was asked to come back and dramaturge for the production. That experience prepared her even more for this current production.
“It got me into the heads and hearts of the characters,” she said. “So although I had already wanted to do the show I kept falling in love with the show more and more.”
Frost feels that although the show is a historical piece it’s relevance and relations to the modern political climate are evident.
“The movement of the 1960’s really has effect and swayed and educated us as a society,” Frost said. “But after the elections I woke up the next morning and said ‘Wow this is no longer historically significant it it relevant and significant.’ ”
Although the events that are in the show and associated with the production, such as the Vietnam War, are not applicable in our modern society the idea of peacefully standing up for your beliefs and a collective voice are applicable today.
This production strives to do the classic show justice. It is engaging, forceful and proud. One of the largest criticisms of the original show was the choice to have the cast strip naked on stage. The Lafayette cast does not shy away from that reputation as the cast shedd’s their clothes right before intermission.
Although the show is powerful it could have packed more of a punch had the solo performances and sound design been stronger but when the entire cast came together to with songs such as “Aquarius” and “The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine in)” a feeling of community and love could be felt filling the audience.
Hair ** 1/2(out for four stars)
Hair is now play at the Mary Miller theatre at the Theatre Company of Lafayette. 300 E Simpson St, Lafayette, CO 80026. Directed by Heather Frost. Starring: Chris Arneson, Mike Martinkus and Christian Mendoza. Through June 24th. For tickets visit here.
*RATED R for language, nudity, adult dialogue.*