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The new season at the Shubert Theater opened Thursday night when the Mercury Company brought back Hair, classified as "the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical."
An international sensation since it was produced a few seasons ago, Hair is acclaimed particularly for its rock music by Galt MacDermot whose rousing rhythms set the pace for this wildly vigorous theater offering. The large cast of both blacks and whites boasts of many excellent solo voices as well as an excellently trained chorus. If now and then the rock band's electronic music is too loudly amplified, it can be excused on the premise that the band as well as the actors is carried away with the excitement of the action.
Lyle K'Ang as a young philosopher; Doug Rowell as "Berger," the hyper-active leader of the "tribe;" Arthur Dillingham and an actor singing under the role of Kalani presented the solo parts for most of the sings with the chorus coming in for a rousing finish.
The scenes were of contemporary life with interesting variations and interpretations. The dancing choreographed by Julie Arenal, had the young company flinging itself around the stage, sometimes on its knees or bumping along the stage on its collective bottom, but always at an extremely fast pace. There were many scenes for many songs beginning with Kalani's introduction of Aquarius, the shows top hit. Subjects included pot smoking, air pollution, draft evasion, the Vietnam war, induction into the armed services and of course, a big bit on sex themes. As Claude remarked in one scene, "We're living in a psychodelic (sic) stone age" with a new kind of life just around the corner. Hair is an experience!