Hair | Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 20 2011
Price: $27-$90
What if, I kept thinking, they just dumped the hippie/Yippie trappings? Found a way to evoke the counterculture aesthetic of the late 1960s rather than imitate it? Sure, the original freaks were playing dress-up with their fur vests and feathers, but the cast of this touring production--talented, energetic, and even fervent as they are--can't communicate the provocation that came with the costumes. Their attempts to set the audience up as a bunch of squares, so that we can be seduced into liberation by their youth and dance onstage with them in the end, comes across as false--especially since so many audience members are old enough to have worn feathers ourselves. This is disheartening because Gerome Ragni and James Rado's 1968 musical is so important, not only for its influence over subsequent theater but for its often exquisitely articulated message. Was there ever a more succinct and haunting anti-war lyric than "How dare they try to end this beauty"? There must be a way to make it new again. --Tony Adler



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