The hits keep on coming on Broadway, folks (at least critically).
I saw the cast’s performance at the Thanksgiving Day parade, and it’s colored my idea of this revival: much like when Broadway tries to do Grease or even West Side Story these days, it’s hard to get past the fact that the folks onstage are musical theater actors, and therefore lack a rawness and urgency and sex appeal that these shows require. The Times review seems to state otherwise, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
The Daily Beast has an interesting take on the show today, although I have a huge bone to pick with this paragraph:
n other words, the 1968 Broadway production of Hair is being revived on Broadway in 2009 at a time when every issue that animated the play has been—in the musical’s own perspective—happily resolved. There is almost universal opposition to the war in Iraq, the “Generation Gap” has been replaced by parents jostling with their children for space on Facebook, our president is black, and just about everybody is “green.” As for sex and drugs… well, go refill your prescription and I’ll get mine, let’s email each other some pictures of ourselves naked, and if we both like what we see, why don’t we meet for a drink later tonight.
I’m a positive guy generally, but…really? The issues of the play are “resolved?” There’s no generation gap anymore? There’s no racism anymore? And what does environmentalism really have to do with anything? Sex may be more mainstream (to an extent) but drugs — of the hippie variety — are just as, if not more taboo now then at the time, in certain circles at least. Glib overstatements like this hurt the integrity of the article to come, for me, at least.