The show closed after one performance, but the two performers struck up a friendship and decided to collaborate. Although Rado had written music for his own pop band, he and Ragni decided to concentrate on lyrics and dialogue and find a composer to set their words to music. After several false starts, they met Canadian-born Galt MacDermot, a conservative-looking husband and father who had never heard of a hippie when he met the shaggy-haired duo. He had, however, released an influential album called Shapes of Rhythm , and Rado realized immediately that MacDermot was the man to help bring his characters to life. He had his own take on the elements of pop music, and his melodies were always a surprise to us. Why did he respond to the work of two aspiring lyricists? While developing their show, Rado and Ragni continued to act. Not surprisingly, they ended up playing the leading roles in Hair , which greatly resembled their own personalities.
The Infamous Nude Scene
The work reflects the creators' observations of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late s, and several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality , its irreverence for the American flag , and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the " Age of Aquarius " living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his parents and conservative America to serve in Vietnam, compromising his pacifist principles and risking his life. Since then, numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation was released in In , Time wrote, "Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever.
Less than a month after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The show, written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado with music by Galt MacDermot, follows Claude, a young man on the verge of being drafted, and the group of hippies of which he is a part.
The audience is frozen in his thoughts as he waffles between going to war or remaining in a hippie counterculture in New York City. Six of his friends stand behind him shedding layers of their clothes. FPP approved nudity in the opening scene in which Claude, played by junior Colby Katz-Lapides, lies on-stage in the fetal position with his back to the audience. The nudity at the end of act one, which includes male and female full-frontal, was not approved because of the small size of Lisner Downstage, where the play showed six times this weekend. Ronnie Solevo, the director, said they would be unable to portray the separation between Claude and his friends, who burn their draft cards before they shed their clothes, without nudity. Solevo said everyone involved, including the board and the cast, approved the nudity.