Galt MacDermot/ James Rado, Gerome Ragni
Hippie rock musical in two acts (Russian version)
The musical's story line, on the face of it, is simplicity itself: it is about hippies, young people who reject the boring tenets of the world they live in: you can't do this; you can't do that; live the way your parents lived. Most importantly, don't stick your neck out. They got sick and tired of it all, so, with George Berger as their ringleader, they set up a world of their own, to be ruled by love, freedom and harmony. And in order to set themselves apart from the people of the world at large, the hippies decided not to cut their hair. But they did not succeed in severing all ties to the external world: the Vietnam War being fought at that time claims the newcomer Claude, the most romantic and naive of the whole Tribe, and this leads to his death in action.
HAIR epitomises a whole US generation and has spawned a new genre of rock musical; it is a patriarch of the genre of rock musical. Following its premiere 29 April 1968, it continued for about two thousand performances, having been produced more than thirty times in different countries all over the world.
The Russian audience saw this musical for the first time in November 1999 at the Moscow Estrada Theatre in a production by director Bo Crowell with participation from producer Michael Butler. The stage performance by the Stas Namin theatre company featured guest stars from the US.
No sooner had the US director left as a large-scale effort got under way to adapt the show for the Russian audience, to culminate shortly thereafter in a production which, while not being a completely new work, did diverge significantly from the US original.
Running time 2 hours
Story and lyrics: James Rado and Gerome Ragni
Translation: Garik Osipov, Alexei Chulansky, Stas Namin and all members of the cast.
Music: Galt MacDermot, arrangement by Christian Nesmith (USA)
Director and choreographer: Bo Crowell (USA), Stas Namin
Producer: Stas Namin, guest producer Michael Butler (USA)
Musicians: guitar, bass guitar, percussion, keyboard, Tsvety