Entertainment » Theatre


by Doug Rule
Sunday Apr 6, 2014
’Hair’ runs to April 27 at Keegan Theatre
’Hair’ runs to April 27 at Keegan Theatre  (Source:Stanley Photography)

Keegan Theatre's current production of "Hair" features an acting champion -- specifically the entire ensemble cast of 20-something actors. Surely, many of the 22 singing actors just starting their careers here will become champions -- and stars -- in their own right, but here they're essentially playing older-generation variations of themselves.

Where they've succeeded as an ensemble, guided by directors Mark Rhea and Susan Rhea, is in the natural ease and rapport they convey even in the subtlest of gestures, to say nothing of their rich harmonies in song. They're as unified as the show's Vietnam War pothead protesters, and they wholly convince you that this show dating to 1968 still has legs and relevancy today -- and not just because of the incredibly pro-pot sentiments conveyed in James Rado and Gerome Ragni's story and lyrics. The show's themes critiquing faraway wars and exploring teenage angst and listlessness are still common today.

But the best argument for "Hair" in 2014 is the fact that Galt MacDermot's rock score still moves you. No matter how many times you've heard the song or seen it staged, "Let the Sunshine In" still surprises you with its emotional complexity and power. Musically, it's a force that dawns slowly until it becomes a rallying anthem for the lost. And the whole tribe sings in tear-inducing unison.

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