I would like wine, popcorn and “Gimme a head of hair…” This week Atlanta can don their dusty old hippy wear and hitch-hike to the Fox Theater to experience the Tony award winning, Broadway revival of HAIR.
I have been curiously watching this production grow from a seedling in a pot, to its re-plantation in Central park and then through its successful and full garden explosion on Broadway. The reason I start sniffing around this blooming Gerber Daisy is because I have a little history with its Director, Diane Paulus. I am happy to be able to tell you, about one of my successful professional engagements in the Big Apple, as opposed to something I floated around and experienced from the outside. One of my favorite projects ever The Donkey Show directed by Paulus and her creative partner/ husband, Randy Weiner, was a Disco Version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I went to work every day at The Club El Flamingo, a popular night club on the west side of Manhattan, around the Chelsea area. The most wonderful part about this production was that it didn’t just occur on a stage, it happened outside, on, around, and in the audience of the club. The audience wasn’t sitting and watching the show, they were inside the show. Each performer got to portray two characters; mine were Mr. Oberon, the club owner and Mia (a.k.a. Hermia) one of the four lovers. All of this, hopefully, gives you an idea of how Paulus approaches her work. She looks at the proverbial box from across the street, she then turns it into a sphere, it pops, a butterfly emerges and it soars into outer space.
I was curious when Diane’s little HAIR concert was being produced at Shakespeare in the Park, I was excited when it moved to Broadway and you can’t imagine how proud I was sitting with my munchkins in Atlanta watching the company perform and win at the Tony awards last year.