In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of both College of the Canyons and the legendary Woodstock music festival held in 1969, the college’s theatre and music departments will proudly present “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical,” beginning October 16, at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons (PAC).
Considered to be the first, and most successful, rock musical, “Hair” – with book and lyrics by James Rado and Geome Ragni, and music by Galt MacDermott – popularized the spirit of the 1960s and quickly became a symbol of the revolutionary spirit that gripped America during that tumultuous period in history.
The College of the Canyons theatre and music departments invite the community to ‘join the tribe,’ a group of long-haired, politically active hippies, as they gather in an abandoned theater to usher in the Age of Aquarius while challenging racism, environmental destruction, poverty, sexism and sexual repression, violence at home, the war in Vietnam and much more.
Not wanting to simply create a flashback to the 1960s, the college’s production team has maintained “Hair’s” ‘flower power’ backdrop and interwoven themes about tuning in and on to the ‘now,’ while working to present something that will be remembered as more than a nostalgic period piece.
“Although our production will give the audiences a taste of the 60s and will be true to the original production’s intent, the emphasis is on exploring the relevancy and universality of the musical’s themes for today’s audiences – both young and not so young,” said Paul Wickline, chair of the COC theatre department.
“Hair” originally opened on Broadway on April 29, 1968 at the Biltmore Theatre during a revolutionary period in American history. Only weeks before it opened Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Two months after its debut Senator Robert Kennedy would be gunned down.
By the summer of 1968 a production of “Hair” had moved to the Aquarius Theatre in Los Angeles where it would endure several bomb scares throughout its unprecedented two-year run.
In addition, “Hair” producers were forced to fight a U.S. Supreme Court legal battle in order to maintain some of the freedoms the production celebrated, while keeping the show alive. That struggle helped to usher in a new cultural age in America when the high court upheld the production’s right to freedom of speech in May of 1970.
“Hair” will run at 8 p.m. October 16, 17, 23 and 24, and 2 p.m. October 18, and 25, on the PAC main stage.
This production contains adult language and subject matter and is most appropriate for mature audiences.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for seniors and students with proper I.D. and can be purchased from the PAC box office by calling (661) 362-5304 or visiting www.canyonspac.com