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Hair the Musical

JRRTolken
Understudy
joined:6/7/14
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 06:27pm
I know this has possibly been discussed but when I saw Diane's revival of hair I thought it was a good revival of a very book light show thoughts. It had deep concepts but never made them in depth? Thoughts
The Other One
Featured Actor
joined:4/1/08
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 09:09pm
It's deceptive. It has an accumulative impact. I have always found it devastating.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 09:15pm
I know this is heresy, but I prefer Forman's film. I think it makes the same points through characters one can actually care about. (Note: I didn't see the Paulus production, so my remarks do not apply to that revival. But I did see the original Broadway run, a national tour, etc. and so forth.)
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 09:42pm
^I actually really like Forman's film adaptation of Hair than the original musical due to adding a story and adding more to the characters (or changing some of them due to the new story), one of the most underrated musical movies of the late 70's an era when Hollywood was slowly no longer caring for musical films as a "go-to" genre.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 09:55pm
Damn, Musical Master! Nobody EVER agrees with me about that movie. I've seen it at least 60 times and can only conclude you and I are twins, separated at birth!
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 10:03pm
^LOL, we should be twins dispite being born in two different decades (I was born in 1993).

The finale to the movie was really chilling and I would never get that feeling in a musical movie like that until Les Mis.

Updated On: 8/5/14 at 10:03 PM
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 10:10pm
Yeah, well, if only Forman hadn't been so embarrassed by the actual songs in "Hair" that movie might have worked better as, you know, A MUSICAL. The only way he could have tossed off that title song even quicker than the Speedy Gonzalez version he went with would have been to go ahead and have the Chipmunks sing it. Sorry you didn't want to be associated with the Cowsills, or whatever, Milos.

'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
Updated On: 8/5/14 at 10:10 PM
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 10:57pm
^The original musical is good don't get me wrong, but I just can't connect with it as others have.

Gaveston, one of the best moments of the film is where Cheryl Barnes blows the roof off and makes me feel a bit emotional in her heart-renching rendition of "Easy To Be Hard" which blows the original out of the water.
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FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 10:59pm
Blows seems to be the operative word.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/5/14 at 11:08pm
^Can't tell if it's meant to be an insult. But we can agree do disagree on this.
Someone in a Tree2 Profile Photo
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 01:09am
Sorry, Namo, I'm with Gaveston and Musical Master here. Turning "White Boys" and "Black Boys" into commentary by the draft board inducters is sheer genius. Transposing the nude scene into John Savage going skinny dipping works perfectly (and is so hot). When Treat Williams swaps places with John Savage in the final scenes and finds himself on the troop transport plane to Viet Nam while singing the Manchester England reprise-- it's pure chills every time for me, in a way that the stage show has never matched. When I hear the score, my minds eye always pictures those thrilling numbers staged onscreen by Foreman, Twyla Tharp, et al. It's one of my favorite movie musicals of all time.
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 12:56pm
I enjoy the movie for what it is, though I much prefer the stage version.

The most effective production I've seen of Hair was by a small amateur theatre company in Dallas in 1988. It was quite simple in its design, but the staging and choreography of the individual songs was really astounding. For example, the nudity was handled with only two cast members in the following ways:

In What a Piece of Work is Man, as the duet begins, two men drag a body bag onto the stage. The bag unzips from the inside and a beautiful naked man emerges. He goes through slow-motion choreography of the classic male anatomy "poses". Towards the end of the song, he climbs back in the bag, zips it up, and gets dragged off stage.

At the beginning of the Be-In, the music starts and a lone girl appears on stage in a thin white peasant dress. She starts twirling and her dress billows around her. As the lights come up on her, her dress becomes transparent and we see she is nude under the dress.

This was also the first time I heard the song Dead End and it instantly became my favorite song in the show. During Walking in Space, as Sheila sang her solo lines, she was lifted by the torso and passed among tribe as she "walked" levitating across the stage.

And the finale was DEVASTATING. I believe they used lines in the script where Woof, Sheila and Berger are looknig for Claude but can't find him. But they staged the scene in modern day in front of a representation of the Vietnam War Memorial in DC, so the lines of "Where's Claude?" and "I can't find him" were as they searched for his name on the memorial. When they find his name, Claude appears on top of the memorial covered in an army blanket. When he got to "That's me! That's me!", he removed the blanket and revealed his cut hair and a white t-shirt bearing a bloody target and we see him get shot to death as the songs returns to the tribe. The tribe sit on a floor surrounding the lead players and the memorial and sing to each other and THE ENTIRE CAST starts crying when they start Let the Sun Shine In, which then grows and transforms into its usual celebration of life and love. I still get chills when I think about it.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 01:01pm
^So in other words, the staging of the production you saw made the peice even more interesting. I guess it all depends on the director and what vision you want, but I still can't connect with the characters as much as the movie version did.
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 01:27pm
To me, the more traditional narrative structure of the film (which excised much of the score), was the exact reverse intent of the show. Though the Broadway production cemented a less improvised production for commercial Broadway audiences, the conceptual aspect of its narrative structure remained intact, which was vital to the experience of the live show. The film had some lovely performances and beautiful choreography, but it almost completely removed the personal intimacy of the characters and cast, which was one of the most important aspects of relating the show to the audience. We were no longer getting "first hand" accounts of thoughts, experiences and opinions. We were getting a softer, more objective view of the characters and songs as filtered through the eyes of a pretty gosh-darn Midwestern boy on his first arrival into the Big City. Some nice moments in a story made easy to follow and tugs at the heartstrings in very conventional ways. But not the Hair "experience" at all.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 01:32pm
^I guess it's a matter of taste then. I did hear that Rado and Ragni were really dissapointed with the film version saying: "The film version of Hair has not been made yet", which is understandable. I guess the film does lack the "experience" but maybe there might be another film version in the future where it's more faithful to the source material.
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lovebwy
Broadway Star
joined:4/22/12
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 01:59pm
I really like the movie. I find the vignettes in the show to be dated but the piece as a whole works. Even at the Hollywood Bowl, when Hunter Parrish (Claude) comes out for the first time with short hair and in army fatigues with pain etched in his face and sings The Flesh Failures, it was very moving.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 02:11pm
"Transposing the nude scene into John Savage going skinny dipping works perfectly (and is so hot)."

Another priority of the great state of California!
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 09:09pm
Mister Matt, I don't necessarily disagree with your point above, but I think Forman was smart about the differences in media.

The original stage HAIR aimed to make the spectator feel like he was actually attending a "happening". The actors came out into the house and audience members were encouraged to come up on stage. The script calls for the actors to wander at will on stage; lines and even roles were often swapped in different performances.

The problem with creating the same effect on film is the camera. The camera constantly reminds us that what we are watching took place in the past, because it was recorded on film and is being replayed for us. There's no way to make it truly "spontaneous" like the stage show.

So Forman wisely constructed a narrative that covers the same territory and then invited us in by allowing us to empathize with the protagonist. Not the same, but as close as film can really get.
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 09:21pm
I agree 100% Gaveston. Film and Theatre are two very different monsters and if HAIR was done on screen as it was on stage, it would feel to stagey and the feeling of boredom would take over audiences.
The Other One
Featured Actor
joined:4/1/08
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/6/14 at 09:53pm
As with "Cabaret", I love both the play and the film. Their differences do not bother me because each works on its own terms. Forman did a masterful job of adapting "Hair."
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/8/14 at 01:50pm
NINE tried to do the same thing that the CABARET and HAIR films did when it comes to changes, but landed in a loud thud. It's slowly becoming a guilty pleasure for me but it will remain a HUGE mess.
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lovebwy
Broadway Star
joined:4/22/12
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/8/14 at 01:54pm
One number I think the movie version of Hair messed up was Walking in Space. It could have been really amazing, but they made it about war instead of drugs.
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/8/14 at 01:59pm
^What's weird about Walking in Space is that it almost tried an attempt of it with the girl singing in an empty black space (who was dubbed by the great Betty Buckley), but Forman thought that one trip out scene was enough. I agree that Walking in Space could've been another trip out sequence but I understand where Forman is coming from.

Updated On: 8/8/14 at 01:59 PM
 Musical Master Profile Photo
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/24/14 at 06:18pm
I will admit that I miss the real life and fictional characters from the trip out in "Walking in Space".
Broadway212 Profile Photo
Broadway212
Broadway Star
joined:5/14/08
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/24/14 at 10:30pm
It was a great revival! I really miss this show.
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SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
Hair the Musical
Posted: 8/24/14 at 11:12pm
This show is brilliant. Yes, it lacks a strong book.I will agree. Milos Foreman's movie was the first experience I had with it other them the OBC recording I grew up with. Never saw the play. I loved the movie! Then I saw the recent Paulus revival.
The show I realized is like a watercolor. Character songs being carefully laid over period related philosophical and sociological tribal songs, gives you a strong sense of a time and place. Foreman's forced book and reimagined relationships, now seemed forced and distracting.
I have been meaning to revisit the movie.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!

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