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Lake Worth Playhouse celebrates 40 years of "Hair" - CinemaDave

Jul. 18th, 2008 06:59 am Lake Worth Playhouse celebrates 40 years of "Hair"

Forty years ago, John Glenn High School planned a field trip for their students to see a musical on Broadway. My father refused to let my sister attend this field trip, because the show was **Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical** and he did not want his only daughter to see a show that had naked people on stage. Ah how times have changed, my sister has two children who are in college, the same age as the Tribe performing **Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical ** at Lake Worth Playhouse. (For ticket information, please visit http://www.lakeworthplayhouse.org/index2.html). And yes, many of the actors appear naked onstage in Act One.

A musical like **Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical** would not survive forty years if it only relied onstage nudity. Five songs, **Age of Aquarius,** **Hair,** **Easy to Be Hard,** Good Morning Starshine** and **The Flesh Failures (Let the Sun Shine In) play on regular rotation on oldies radio stations all over the world. The young cast delivers these songs with conviction and sincerity.

**Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical** stays true to the core assertion of the play's original intention. The profanity, the songs that glorify drugs, the antiwar protests, the racial conflicts are as relevant today as they were back in 1968. Director/choreographer Rob Dawson did not shy away from these moments, but he handles the controversial, scenes with truthfulness and dignity, lacking the condescension that a less experienced director would have resorted to.

Though an ensemble piece, **Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical** does feature two stand out performances. As Sheila, theater veteran Gina Nespoli projects both strength and vulnerability. Emily Riedel manages to take an unmemorable song and makes it memorable.

The tribe has spoken, "Hair" is one heck of a show!

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