The Day and Night Are Alive and Dancing in Harmony to the Music of Our Souls

​Review of Hair at ArtsWest by Vivian Lappenbusch


The Age of Aquarius is dawning on us, fellow human beings, in this glorious universe of ours. The day and night are alive and dancing in harmony to the music of our souls. The stars and moon are reaching out to you to say, “Seriously, you should go see Hair.”

Hair follows the story of Claude (Mark Tyler Miller), who is taken in by a tribe of hippies during the 1960s, including their leader and Claude’s best friend Berger (Jeff Orton). It’s celebrated for being one of the first “rock musicals” — complete with drums, electric guitars, psychedelic colors, bending backdrops, and even some super-scandalous nudity.

Everyone in the cast seems so natural in their performances, and director David Gassner creates a flow that makes the show seem much less like a "classic Broadway musical" and more like just a bunch of people getting together, telling their stories, and then taking some LSD, because why not? The songs will give you chills, and there's not a weak singer in the bunch.

But the thing that really makes Hair worth seeing is that there are so many parallels that can be made to today’s society. While you might not see as many people walking down the street wearing their bell bottoms and vests, the message still rings true. The central antagonist in Hair, the horrifying violence and drafting of American soldiers for Vietnam, is relatable today to our conflict in the Middle East and the tension with so many other countries.

Claude’s internal struggle of trying to uphold his own beliefs while trying to fit into the mold created for him by ‘60s society is relatable to almost any teen, especially in the more progressive era we’re entering. While the hippies of Hair might seem to some like a bunch of homeless bums, their problems are more relatable than you would originally suspect.

April 23 - June 7

Mature content warning: Contains drug use, nudity, and strong language

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