The Age Of Hair: Evolution And Impact Of Broadway's First Rock Musical

by Barbara Lee Horn

GREENWOOD PRESS INC. | November 1, 1991 | Hardcover |

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A reflection and symbol of the turbulent 1960s and the culture and lifestyles of the Hippies, Hair made history as the first rock musical on Broadway and one of the most successful musicals. The sixties left an indelible imprint upon the American psyche, and Hair, in the words of critic Clive Barnes, "summed it up better than any other piece of American theatre." Aside from bringing experimental techniques and rock music to Broadway, Hair, in author Barbara Horn''s view, represented a major step in the evolution of the "concept musical" from the "book musical" and was the first concept musical to reach mass audiences, an achievement unheralded and little recognized. Horn analyzes the social context of Hair and the Hippies, describes the tenor of the Broadway theatre of the times and the experimental trends Off-Broadway that culminated in Hair''s innovations on the Great White Way. She then goes on to relate the dramatic story of Hair''s creation and growth, dash myths and clarify the actual events, including the casual meeting of coauthors Gerome Ragni and James Rado with producer Joseph Papp on a train. The transfer of Hair to Broadway is fully detailed, and the Broadway production is compared with the earlier production at Papp''s Public Theater with lists of song sequences provided. Several revivals and the film version are also discussed, and staff and cast lists appear as appendixes. Horn''s extensive archival research is amplified by insights from numerous interviews, including those with the authors, Ragni and Rado; composer, Galt MacDermot; Broadway producer, Michael Butler, directors, Gerald Freedman and Tom O''Horgan, musical director, Galt MacDermot; set designer, Robin Wagner; lighting designer, Jules Fisher, cast members, Melba Moore and Lorrie Davis; and others associated with one or more of the productions, as well as with theatre critics and theorists. Numerous published works were also connsulted, and a strong bibliography is provided.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 188 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: November 1, 1991

Publisher: GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0313275645

ISBN - 13: 9780313275647

Found in: History and Criticism, History and Criticism

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The Age Of Hair: Evolution And Impact Of Broadway's First Rock Musical

The Age Of Hair: Evolution And Impact Of Broadway's First Rock Musical

by Barbara Lee Horn

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 188 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: November 1, 1991

Publisher: GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0313275645

ISBN - 13: 9780313275647

From the Publisher

A reflection and symbol of the turbulent 1960s and the culture and lifestyles of the Hippies, Hair made history as the first rock musical on Broadway and one of the most successful musicals. The sixties left an indelible imprint upon the American psyche, and Hair, in the words of critic Clive Barnes, "summed it up better than any other piece of American theatre." Aside from bringing experimental techniques and rock music to Broadway, Hair, in author Barbara Horn''s view, represented a major step in the evolution of the "concept musical" from the "book musical" and was the first concept musical to reach mass audiences, an achievement unheralded and little recognized. Horn analyzes the social context of Hair and the Hippies, describes the tenor of the Broadway theatre of the times and the experimental trends Off-Broadway that culminated in Hair''s innovations on the Great White Way. She then goes on to relate the dramatic story of Hair''s creation and growth, dash myths and clarify the actual events, including the casual meeting of coauthors Gerome Ragni and James Rado with producer Joseph Papp on a train. The transfer of Hair to Broadway is fully detailed, and the Broadway production is compared with the earlier production at Papp''s Public Theater with lists of song sequences provided. Several revivals and the film version are also discussed, and staff and cast lists appear as appendixes. Horn''s extensive archival research is amplified by insights from numerous interviews, including those with the authors, Ragni and Rado; composer, Galt MacDermot; Broadway producer, Michael Butler, directors, Gerald Freedman and Tom O''Horgan, musical director, Galt MacDermot; set designer, Robin Wagner; lighting designer, Jules Fisher, cast members, Melba Moore and Lorrie Davis; and others associated with one or more of the productions, as well as with theatre critics and theorists. Numerous published works were also connsulted, and a strong bibliography is provided.

Editorial Reviews

?The Age of "Hair" is exactly what its subtitle indicates; a book on the "evolution and impact of Broadway''s first rock musical." Horn tracks Hair from field notes on the mid-1960s counterculture through its 1968-72 Broadway run, the 1979 movie, and its recent revival as a musical. She notes how Hair, and the hippies it portrays, defied conventions in its anti-war and pro-drugs stances, and in its staging, especially its frontal nudity. Despite mixed critical reviews, and much to the dismay of Broadway regulars, audience interest, if not approval, was tremendous. In addition to its original Broadway run of 1,750 performances, Hair was staged by numerous domestic and foreign touring companies. Hair''s status as a watershed musical was legally confirmed when attempts to ban it were struck down by Supreme Court decisions affirming the right to freedom of expression (1970, 1975). Horn''s text is extensively footnoted; her excellent bibliography and index are particularly useful to scholars. Recommended for undergraduate students in theater.??Choice
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