ALTON - Each generation challenges the establishment to look at their modeling and actions and in doing so, adolescents hold up a mirror and enjoy pointing out hypocrisy and wrongdoing - and because of that, society evolves and social mores change.
Fifty years ago a generation of “hippies” helped stop the Vietnam War. Now, fifty years later, it is another generation of young Americans who sing, protest and talk about social change, sexual identity issues, race relations AND ending school violence...and that is precisely WHY the celebration of the 50th anniversary of HAIR’s Broadway debut couldn’t come to Alton Little Theater in a more providential summer!
Now if all of this seems like a background for a weighty documentary – IT ISN'T! Some themes emerge along the journey to be sure but HAIR is at its heart a beautiful and colorful story that celebrates relatedness and acceptance. The glorious musical ensemble has enjoyed fifty years of popularity and has been embraced and honored in a 2009 Broadway revival – and now enjoys new life in theaters around the world!
The “kids” of the first HAIR “tribe” are now senior citizens – but they remember the beat, the magic of the age of Aquarius , and the total rebellion of growing long hair (for guys). Yes, what was “oppositional” fifty years ago is now infinitely more understandable - and that’s the beauty of a revival - we can look back at what may have changed and what (still) needs to change.
Alton Little Theater’s cast of HAIR is a new generation of truth seekers, under the direction of Kevin Frakes, Mary Grace Brueggemann, and Kurtis Leible. And yes, they too will one day look back and ask themselves what they wanted to change and what change in the world they shaped.
In 1968, HAIR‘s playwrights, James Rado and Gerome Ragni and Composer Galt MacDermot, found a yearning and a common vibration in the consciousness of so many young people. The musical has come to define the late 60’s and early 70’s – and yet almost any new staging always begs the question “Will they DO the nude scene?” and you know WHY they did it in the first place: because during a performance in Central Park some audience members stripped down and stood naked for some minutes and EVERYONE turned to them and PAID ATTENTION! The producers decided to include a very brief scene of nudity with some members of the cast just so more audience members might listen to the MESSAGE they were singing about.
Early productions also used signs symbolizing the “Death Camps” in Germany to remind people of the brave Jewish citizens and war resisters who were “stripped” of everything except their beliefs. And now, a new mounting of the production seeks to enter into the consciousness of a new generation while it entertains with some music that has become part of our cultural history.
So won’t you join Nathan Beilsmith, Tiffani Bowen, Mary Grace Brueggemann, Ty Dunn, Joe File, Gabriel Generally, Jalyn Jordan, Tiffany Knighten, Pat Kulish, Karlena Lahey, Kurtis Leible, Jessica McCawley, Sydney Martin, Hal Morgan, Anthony Michael Shepard, Margaret Sommerhof, and Kat Wissler in a musical tapestry of revolutionary change?
The production is highly supported by original "flower child" Lee Cox and Set Artist Anne Bailey – who created visual graphics and costumes that remind the audience that fifty years ago, everything was bright (light), bold (passionate) and fluid - love, love and more love everywhere!
Eight Performances will ROCK the RIVERBEND July 13th through July 22nd. Tickets are $25 for this very special Summer Showcase Production and YOU MUST BE 18 OR OLDER TO ATTEND – (NO EXCEPTIONS). Come see MORE than you think you know about HAIR.
The production will offer up for sale some signed T-Shirts, some retro clothing, and ice cream (with rainbow sprinkles of course) in the Dorothy Colonius foyer.
Call 618-462-3205 today for tickets or click here.