If there is one show that defines the 60s, it’s Hair. It’s a musical based on the hippie culture. Generally, one would think that a show with themes of sex, drugs, and war would be performed by adults. Blank Slate Theatre, however, has successfully used an all-teen cast in this production. Not only is this production extremely entertaining, but the teen actors capture the spirit of the decade in some ways more effectively than any adult cast could.
The play opens with Lindsey Williams singing beautifully as the lead on the song “Age of Aquarius.” From the very first song through the musical climax, the enthusiastic cast visibly enjoy their performance and their enthusiasm is contagious.
|hair, presented through june 26 at the lowry lab theater. for information and tickets ($15 adults, $12 youth), see blankslatetheatre.com|
Hair has a minimal story line. The musical tells the story of a group of hippies who are living in Central Park in New York City. The hippies do drugs, and one of them is facing induction into the military. The show’s premise primarily serves as a vehicle for the many incredible and memorable songs, including the title song, “Easy to Be Hard,” and “Good Morning Starshine.” The cast form a sort of tribal group, and as a tribe they sing about drugs, sex, and the Vietnam War—all topics that defined the 60’s.
Keeping with the tribal theme, the cast repeatedly break into group dances that wonderfully capture the feeling of love and liberation. I was very impressed by the professional level of the production, and there isn’t a bad moment in the show. The entire cast have beautiful voices that blend well and convey true emotion. Every actor brings something unique to the show.
As a company, Blank Slate states that it focuses on social issues. Although Hair was originally written and performed in the 60s, the cast’s energetic performance makes the show’s themes of war, sex, and drugs seems as relevant to the youth of today as they were to the youth of the 60’s. It was great to see this musical side of Blank Slate because, up to now, I had only seen their more serious dramatic works like Disordered [thy name is teenager].
For those nostalgic for the 60s and for those who want to see a talented troupe of teens give their all in a performance, attending Blank Slate’s production of Hair is a must this weekend.