January 30, 2011

Concert #581 - Hair at the Pantages Theater (January 5, 2011)

I was seventeen when I first heard the music from Hair, the American tribal-love-rock musical. That was in 1967. Now it's 2011. You do the math.

I bought my tickets over the Internet and it wasn't cheap. With fees, I paid almost $200 for two seats eight rows from the stage. During the check-out process, a note popped up warning potential buyers of "20 seconds of full nudity in a non-sexual context, presented in dim lighting". My first thought was "$200 bucks and dim lighting? You kiddin' me?"

The Pantages, just before showtime

It was only my second time at the Pantages, many years after I saw Johnny Cash there. It's not a bad place to see a show, if you sit close enough to the stage. I stayed away from buying front row seats, after having seen on YouTube how the artists mingle with the audience. It turned out that my eighth row seat wasn't enough to protect me from becoming part of the show. Was it my lack of hair that endeared me to the big black actor with the huge Afro? I'll never know what he saw in me, but he walked straight up  to me and deposited a real kiss on my left cheek. True story. Can I now claim that I was in Hair?

The show started with the curtain coming crashing down onto the stage, immediately followed by the opening song, "Aquarius". The show was engaging, interesting, different, occasionally moving, but it did not give me the natural high I often experience at concerts. With so many great songs, I couldn't help but remark that Hair had some filler stuff as well. The actors were all over the place, with frequent incursions into the seating area, occasionally even climbing over the heads of the viewers. I didn't like that. Overall, the singing was good, but some had better voices than others. As far as the nudity was concerned, I can confirm that it was both total and frontal. Also extremely innocent. It's hard to see how anyone could get offended by what I saw.

The stage, photographed during the intermission

The grand finale was, of course, "Let The Sunshine In", performed by the entire cast. Then it was all over.

The curtain-less curtain call

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