Less than a month after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The show, written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado with music by Galt MacDermot, follows Claude, a young man on the verge of being drafted, and the group of hippies of which he is a part. It courted controversy from the beginning. Barnes found he was unable to comply fully. Homosexuality is not frowned upon — one boy announces that is in love with Mick Jagger, in terms unusually frank. The London premiere of the musical at the Shaftesbury Theater was delayed until Parliament abolished theater censorship in so that the production could include nudity and strong language. New York audiences were warned about what they would see. Bender reported that the amount of nudity varied throughout the preview performances.
The Times’s Review: ‘It’s So Likeable.’
The work reflects the creators' observations of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late s, and several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality , its irreverence for the American flag , and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the " Age of Aquarius " living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his parents and conservative America to serve in Vietnam, compromising his pacifist principles and risking his life. Since then, numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation was released in In , Time wrote, "Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever.
The Infamous Nude Scene
It's so dark. If you're going just for the nudity you will be disappointed. Minus Gavin and a few others. It happens at the end of Act I. And Gavin sings so he doesn't get naked. Yay for distracting lighting! Those Blocked: SueStorm.
The show closed after one performance, but the two performers struck up a friendship and decided to collaborate. Although Rado had written music for his own pop band, he and Ragni decided to concentrate on lyrics and dialogue and find a composer to set their words to music. After several false starts, they met Canadian-born Galt MacDermot, a conservative-looking husband and father who had never heard of a hippie when he met the shaggy-haired duo. He had, however, released an influential album called Shapes of Rhythm , and Rado realized immediately that MacDermot was the man to help bring his characters to life.