Friday, August 8

Hair redux

I had the pleasure of seeing a fine production of the musical Hair the other night and clearly it has held up much better than I have. I first saw it almost 40 years ago (OMFG!), but to me the music is still exceptional and I found this performance to be extremely moving.

I'm not sure how someone who has viewed the Vietnam War filtered through the pages of a history book is going to feel about this show, but, really, is the Iraq war so much different?

There might have been was a bit less torture in those days.

Before the performance began the artistic director made a point of explaining that the bits of paper being burned near the end of the first act were Draft Cards. (Remember when it was a crime to burn a piece of paper?)

The concept of a government that could pluck you out of your comfortable, everyday existence and drop you into a nightmare 8,000 miles away is something that is foreign to contemporary society.

Today's government just deceives you into going to war and then won't let you come home when you're time is up.

I agree with this reviewer when he says that the key to this production is in the song "Where Do I Go?". When I saw the show in my 20's I related strongly to that theme.

"Why do I live?," cries a confused young man. "Why do I die?"

Back then I thought as I grew older (if I grew older) I'd some day know the answer to those questions.

I was wrong.

1 comment:

Reseda Doug said...

What I relate to these days is the title song: "Give me a head with hair!"

In those days, I thought my head just came with hair included.

I don't know if I'm ready to see HAIR as a period piece instead of just my life. It makes ME into a period piece.

Still like the music though, even if the Age of Aquarius isn't a joy after all, and these days a show WITHOUT a nude scene is the novelty, rather than than something daring and new.

But it can take one back to the days when we naively believed that Richard Nixon was the worst president we could ever have. These days, I'd even take Nixon back to get rid of Dubya!