Last night was a trip. I attended the opening of "Hair," the American Tribal Love Rock Musical taking center stage at the Palace Theatre in downtown Cleveland through January 29.
As I sat in an audience filled primarily with fellow boomers, it didn't take long for the show to become a colorful sojourn back to my youth. When "Hair" debuted on Broadway in 1968, it radiated a spirit that clearly defined us, the children of the '60s. The litany of songs from the show we fervently memorized back then ("Aquarius," "Let the Sun Shine In," "Good Morning Starshine" and, of course, the title track) set us apart from previous generations who just didn't understand the messages our music pulsated with: anti-war, pro-peace and environmental awareness — along with plenty of free love!
And it's clear that some 40 years later, many of the views the lyrics express still ring true. Before the show, I chatted with cast member and Kent State University alum John Moauro, who believes in "Hair" as much as my generation did. In fact, before going on tour with the show, he spent six years playing a member of the "Hair" tribe on Broadway and in London's West End.
"The story touches my spirit," the 29-year-old actor says. "The show's messages — those of peace, understanding and never discriminating against anybody — never go out of style."
Heartwarmingly, the torch has been successfully passed.
For "Hair" show times and ticket prices, call 216/241-6000 or log on to playhousesquare.org