Monday, June 22, 2015


When Jupiter aligns with Mars, as it will at West Hartford's Playhouse on Park until Sunday, July 19, you’ll be ready to experience the Age of Aquarius in all its colorful counter-culture splendor as “HAIR” explodes on the planet.  Grab your garlands of daisies, your love beads, your bell bottoms and prepare to experience that musical revolution known as “HAIR.”

If you have a tie-dyed shirt, a headband and a picket sign, you’ll feel right at home in the intimate space at Playhouse on Park where this James Rado and Gerome Ragni piece with the help of Galt McDermott, this “happening,” this American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is actively protesting against the establishment.

The Vietnam War is raging and these youth are advocating “make love, not war.”  When one of their own, Claude (Michael J. Walker) is drafted, his good buddies Berger (Ryan Connolly), Sheila (Tara Novie), Dionne (Kristen Jeter), Hud (Kameren Neal, Woof (Kevin Barlowski), Jeanie (Jessie MacBeth) Crissy (Lauren Monteleone) and Margaret Mead (Jose Plaza) give him helpful suggestions to avoid going.

The tribe is united in waging a vocal protest against all they see as wrong in America: racism, environmental issues, poverty, sexism, political corruption, violence and especially the bonfire that is Vietnam.

For director Sean Harris and choreographer Darlene Zoller, it was important to “put our own stamp on it.”  They wanted to “personalize it, taking the energy of the original forty plus year old production, give a solid nod to the 2006 revival, but make it “our own tribe, in our theater and concentrate on their relationships.”  They emphasized this “is not a time capsule…The deep and dark passions, the anger, the idealism and the love of personal freedoms are still here.  The relationships are still relevant today and are just as real as they were in 1968.  In our intimate space, the vulnerabilities are evident and the audience can immerse itself in it.”

“HAIR” is basically Claude’s story.  He must decide his own fate:  does he resist the draft or serve in a war he vehemently opposes?  Here the youth are empowered with their own voice to celebrate life.  Songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Easy to be Hard,” and “Let the Sun Shine In” are anthems to the era and the issues.

For tickets ($25-35), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860- 523-5900, ext. 10 or online at
Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m, and Sunday at 2 p.m. with a Talk Back with the cast.  A special matinee will be Tuesday, June 30 at 2 p.m. ($32.50).  This show is recommended for ages 16 and up, due to brief nudity, strong language and drug use.

Check the website for a listing of the dance classes and summer youth acting and musical theater camp offerings.

Join the hallucination generation as it sends vibrations of electricity and energy, exhorting the world to “let the sun shine in,” and rid the globe of darkness and shadows.

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