Curated by Michal Gamily
Educational Outreach by Arthur Adair
Moderated by Chris Kapp and Michal Gamily
Join us, as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of HAIR: The American Tribal Love Rock Musical with co-creator James Rado, composer Galt MacDermot, featuring members of the original Off-Broadway cast of 1967, Broadway cast of 1968, and the cast of the 2009 Broadway revival, including Shaleah Adkisson, Debbie Andrews, Peppy Castro, Keith Carradine, A.D. Coughlan, Andre De Shields, Lauren Elder, Ellen Foley, Annie Golden, Ula Hedwig, Antwayn Hopper, Rev. Marjorie Lipari, Melba Moore, Natalie Mosco, Allan Nicholls, Jill O'Hara, Jim Rado, Robert Rubinsky, Dale Soules, and Jared Weiss. The musical director and pianist Balint Varga will lead Richard Cohen as Musical Supervisor/Saxophone/Flute/Clarinet, Aaron Drescher on drums, Dave D'Aranjo on bass, and Thayer Naples on Guitar. The event, moderated by Coffeehouse Chronicles Co-Founder, Chris Kapp, will offer a panel, performances, and archival media by Dagmar Krajnc and the HAIR private collection. The event will also feature artwork by Suki Weston and special appearance by astrologer Shelley Ackerman.
HAIR was created as an original idea by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, who collaborated on the story, text, characters, dialogue, and lyrics, beginning in 1964. In 1966, they were joined by composer, Galt MacDermot. Although, envisioned from the start as a challenge to the Broadway model, HAIR debuted Off-Broadway on October 17, 1967 as a rock musical. The old Astor Library, gutted and under fresh construction, became The New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, and producer Joseph Papp chose HAIR to be the premiere presentation in his experimental space. The six-week run at the "Public" proved to be a perfect "out-of-town tryout." Following its close, they were joined by, then first-time, producer Michael Butler, and HAIR moved as a direct transfer to the Cheetah nightclub. After a successful four-week run, Rado and Ragni expanded their script and score; Galt put music to their 13 new songs; and the three were determined to hire a new director and production team to realize the originally intended “invasion” of Broadway. They looked to La MaMa, and the innovative artistry of resident director Tom O'Horgan. On April 29, 1968, HAIR opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre with contributions by choreographer Julie Arenal, lighting designer Jules Fisher, set designer Robin Wagner, and costume designer, Nancy Potts. It was an instant phenomenon. And the rest, as they say, is history.
James Rado | Hair Co-Author
Galt MacDermot | Hair Composer
Michael Walter Harris & Michael Butler (video)
Archival Photos by Dagmar Krajnc, Michael Butler and the Hair Private Archive