“Hair: The Musical’s” Kaleidoscopic Experience

SUNY Oneonta

Daniella Fishman, Staffwriter |

“Hair: The Musical” is a metaphorical psychedelic trip through the 60s political climate through song, dance and love. The ensemble was composed of Deidre O’Donoghue, Alex Siegel, Sabrina Contreras, David Lesinski, Claire O’Connor, Julia Johnson, Brianna Whittemore, Julian Gotiangco, Kerry Peysson, Meghan Kirk, Mike Turner, Danielle Swierczyna and Cailyn Toomey. Through this hour-long production, cast members sang without stopping, detailing some of the most important political topics of the 60s. Dealing with drugs, war, religion, and the concept of peace, “Hair: The Musical” showed the audience the way of life in the 60s through the lens of free-loving hippies. The play felt more like a sit-down smoke session with the cast rather than a formal musical, as they laughed, joked, skipped, and yelled through their emotional responses of controversial topics. Through classic songs such as ‘Age of Aquarius,’ ‘ Goodmorning Starshine,’ ‘Let the Sun Shine,’ and ‘I Believe in Love,’ the cast celebrated all there is to celebrate about life, love and, of course, peace.

The play opened with a bang: the ‘Age of Aquarius,’ the unofficial theme of the 1960s. With each song, the backdrop transitioned from one psychedelic image to the next, further encompassing the audience into a shared trippy mindset. Some technical difficulties occurred throughout the first act, though, such as loud feedback and certain cast members’ mics not being loud enough. However, after the first act, they all became a chorus of hallucinatory hippies. “Hair: The Musical” featured not only a diverse cast but a diverse array of stories. Stories of same-sex love, religion (one character being a Catholic and one being a Satanist) and anti-war sentiments were prominent throughout the musical. The Vietnam War was a primary topic throughout the second act and had the most impact on the characters’ stories as they preached love, forgiveness and peace for all. The lighting during the second act was darker and red, signifying the bloodshed of the wartime. Juxtaposed with the brightness and happiness of the first act, this new set darkened the musical’s tone. 

Throughout the production, the casts’ characters preached unity through love and love through peace, a motto that could be adapted anytime, not just in the 1960s. The messages of this musical, though sung through dated music, still remain relevant throughout our modern age. “Hair: The Musical” teaches its listeners to celebrate life, love, sex, and peace because, in a blink of an eye, it could be taken away. 

Thank you to the Apollo Music Club, the Theater department, the Music department, and the Student Association for putting on a musical for all ages. The audience and I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and wish you the best of luck in your next production. 

“Down on 4th Street USA. What did he see? The Youth of American on LSD!” (Hair- “Initials”)

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