The 1960s...a group of America's youth shunning reality to live in an escape world...an outburst of life. All these intangibles come alive in the rock musical "Hair."
The FC Theatre Arts Department has brought this collection of songs and sensations to the campus Studio Theatre.
The show has no defined beginning. A group of street people wander in bearing daisies and incense, and a loosely related series of events transpires, most of which are set to music. A unique twist in audience participation is stressed in the production as the audience members are not permitted to merely watch.They are continuously bombarded by hippie-type actors who force a one-to-one relationship on them.
With the Vietnam War, the military draft and a youthful thirst for life as dominant themes, the production is entertaining, as well as thought provoking. The original "Hair's" controversial presence of nudity, designed to deal explicitly with sexual themes in the late '60s off-Broadway season, is absent in this campus production.
The show is peppered with talented individuals, but a select few stand out.
In the role of tribe leader Claude, Jim Alexander accents his character portrayal with his powerful and convincing voice. He approaches the role positively and conveys it with excellence. This is evident in the musical number "I Got Life," in which the tribe voices that they might not have much outwardly, but they do possess other commodities, including life.
Yvonne Iverson, as Sheila, provides a fresh and sensitive vocal talent to the production. Her vocal parlance and delivery add greatly to the show's success. In "Easy to be Hard," Iverson effectively expresses the feelings of a broken heart in a distinct, as well as appealing, style.
The powerful and penetrating voice of Sheldon O. McKie, in the role of Hud, is outstanding. His performance adds brilliance to the show in the number "I'm Black." He proves that he is able to really belt out a song.
Eddie McCormick effectively portrays Berger, Sheila's lover and Claude's best friend. Through a vigorous use of expressions he presents himself as being sturdy and comfortable in his role.
In the musical number "Air," Cindy K. McGill makes her presence known as the pregnant girl Jeanie. Acting is McGill's obvious strength as she intrudes to illustrate the bulging complication of the "free love" situation of the '60s.
Costume design by Nancy Anne Nelson can best be described as striking. Feathers, beads and denim are bountiful, creating the visual aspect of a passing era.
Notable choreography by Marilyn Magnus Carroll, Elizabeth Hess and Frannie Jaskowiak is at its zenith during "Electric Blues." The show's dancing, lighting and sound all come together during this number.
Lighting design is effectively provided by Michael E. Kane and an outstanding musical performance is directed by Dennis Castellano.
"Hair" will run Jan. 3-13 in the FC Studio Theatre. All seats are sold on a reserved basis and can be obtained at the box office Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The box office is also open one hour prior to each performance.