Fifty years ago today, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opened at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway.
The electrifying musical, unlike any before, had debuted Off-Broadway on October 17, 1967, at the Public Theater, had enjoyed a run at the Cheetah nightclub, and was then revamped with 13 new songs (including the iconic "Let the Sun Shine In") ahead of its Broadway bow.
The musical, about a "tribe" of hippies resisting the draft, was unique in its counter-cultural sentiments, its racial diversity, its nudity and profanity. It was also a different kind of animal than Broadway was used to for its episodic nature — there is a story, but the story is subjugated by the vibe of the music.
Hair, with book and lyrics by actors Gerome Ragni (1935-1991) and James Rado (b. 1932) and music by Gail MacDermot (b. 1928), blew the lid off staid Broadway, yet still managed a Tony nomination for Best Musical, losing to 1776.
In 1979, director Milos Forman (1932-2018) adapted Hair for the big screen. His adaptation received solid reviews, but he hated the way the studio "butchered" it, and the show's creators have disowned it.
Maybe Bradley Cooper (b. 1975)— who is getting advance raves for remaking A Star Is Born (2018) — can give it a shot?