Entertainment/Theatre ian 5/6/2014

You can catch Hair the Musical in Rotorua (subtitled, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical) at the Casa Blanca Theatre (122 Riri Street) from May 16.

Way back in 1968 the original production of Hair was considered outrageous and daring but it was ground-breaking and paved the way for the genre of rock opera/musical. It also picked up a Tony for Best Musical that year. Fast forward four decades and Hair picked up another Tony, this time for Best Musical Revival (plus a swag of other awards including lighting, costumes and sound). Technology has progressed so much that today’s stage design, lighting and technical effects are so superior to when the musical was first staged. As long as the songs and the story hold up, contemporary revivals can be far better than the originals.

And that’s the thing – the songs and story have more than held up – in fact, they have arguably improved with age. In 1968, Hair set out to shock, to shake the establishment and reflect what was happening within the hippie ‘make love not war’ anti-Vietnam scene – protests, drug taking, peace, profanity and promiscuity… these days it is more a snapshot of a time and place that comes with a hint of nostalgia, a bit of history and a lot of good music and theatre.

Songs like Age of Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In, Hair, Easy to be Hard, Hare Krishna, What a Piece of Work is Man and Good Morning Starshine still pack a toe-tapping ethereal punch and while there is still an edge to the musical, it is just what is was then, an enjoyable experience.

Oh! There is that twenty seconds of nudity that, for some reason, has created more controversy down the decades than the drug taking, swearing or songs like Sodomy. It was almost 'Let the Sin Shine In'. This production comes with an official ‘Parental Guidance’recommended warning for young adults 13 plus, but it won’t give the teenagers nightmares – it will be tastefully dimly lit and the nudity is totally non-sexual.

Dates and times:

  • Friday, May 16, 8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Saturday, May 17, 8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Sunday, May 18, 2:00pm to 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 21, 8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Thursday, May 22, 8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Friday, May 23, 8:00pm to 10:30pm

If you are travelling from out of town to see the show, Rydges Rotorua will give you a warm non-nude welcome and look after all your accommodation needs.

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