A Film by Michael Kantor



Premier: April 29, 1968 Theater: Biltmore Theater Music by: Gerome Ragni and James Rado Lyrics by: Galt MacDermot Book by: Gerome Ragni and James Rado Directed by: Tom O'Horgan Choreography by: Julie Arenal Produced by: Michael Butler

    "Aquarius" "Manchester England" "Ain't Got No" "I Got Life" "Hair" "Easy to Be Hard" "Good Morning Starshine"

By the late 1960s, it was only a matter of time before rock music — real rock music, not the Tin Pan Alley-spoof kind — hit Broadway. “Hair” came directly from Greenwich Village — Joseph Papp’s Off-Broadway Public Theater — a couple of blocks away from the real hippies changing the world down in Washington Square. “Hair” had no real plot, it was simply a revue, showing practically every aspect of the counterculture in a variety of musical styles, dance, and stage effects. Its encyclopedic psychedelia included mind-altering drugs, pollution, the Vietnam War, civil rights, astronauts, astrology, hairstyles, Shakespeare, and the Waverly movie theater on Sixth Avenue. And sex. “Hair” became internationally famous for a brief, dimly lit scene at the end of the first act when the entire company assembled in the nude.

The show’s nudity made it a first for a Broadway musical when it transferred uptown on April 29, 1968, as did its full rock score. “The American Tribal Love Rock Musical” reached parents who were curious about their kids and the kids themselves, who were compelled by the music. Although “Hair” did not produce the immediate revolution in Broadway music that critics had predicted, it did run nearly 2,000 performances and was the beginning of a diversification in the musical styles of the Broadway score.