Let the Sun Shine In! A Review of “Hair”

Notes from Nan: Let the Sun Shine In!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

When I was fifteen my parents took me to see the Broadway touring company production of “Hair.”

I remember three things most distinctly about it:

  1. Berger (the main guy character) was the epitome of cool, the attention of that cool a guy I would never, ever be hip enough to attract.
  2. The entire Tribe up there on stage was soaked in self-assurance, dyed to the bone in Truth and Knowledge. Once again, I knew I would never grow up to be that strong.
  3. The famous nude scene was way, way too short.

This weekend my little brother (now in his forties) took me to see it again in New York! And these are the things I saw this time:

  1. Berger could not be more of a mocking, insecure, self-centered girlfriend-using jerk. Unfortunately within just a few years of fifteen I was able to be cool enough to attract that kind of guy ALL the time! Two late-high-school-aged girls stood ahead of me in the bathroom line and I asked them what they thought of Berger.
    “WAY cool!” they chorused. “We are willing him to us! We’ve seen it four times!”
    “You know he’d break your heart,” I said. “No he wouldn’t,” they said together. “He’s SO COOL!”
    The overwhelming draw of the jerkwad guy has not changed in thirty five years!
  2. Oh my goodness, what a flimsy group of children those poor kids were! Chrissy the unwed pregnant mom, Sheila the politically charged world-changer (whose heart is publicly stomped on by boyfriend Berger), Hud, the coolest-of-all black Jimi Hendrix look-alike, Claude, the poor child who goes off to Vietnam; I saw them this weekend all thirty five years later, who they would be thirty-five years later. Some would be funny and wise, full of sardonic and hilarious tales of the hippie years, others would be angry, broken, disillusioned, disenchanted. And then, others would still be at it, trying so hard to find truth for the whole world. And then others still would have just moved on up and out and into the changing world with all of the doubt and reality it carries with it after all. All of us ended up in some way; I just could not have imagined anything less than future nirvana for all of those hip characters up there on that stage in 1972 at the still-beginning of the age of Truth and Knowledge. (“He’s SO COOL!”)
  3. Now, having seen at least 27 grown, naked people in my life, I thought the naked scene silly and gratuitous—and SO LONG!

Peace,

Nan

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