Hair: Let the Sun Shine in
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With that said, here are some of the pluses and minuses of this film:
On the plus side... the show's relevance to the current world political climate. MOST of the interviews, especially from three authors of books about the show(one from the original Broadway cast, another from the final performance and especially Scott Miller, who also posted his review here on AMAZON). Many of the songs from the score, either performed or used as background(although amusingly, "Easy To Be Hard" is credited to Off-Broadway's "Sheila", Jill O'Hara, and NOT correctly to the film's astounding Cheryl Barnes). Clips of both the Broadway and Los Angeles companies (although sadly, the NY company's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" has vanished into the hitherlands).
On the minus side- not enough interviews with OTHER members from HAIR's Broadway cast(or original OFF-BROADWAY production, prior to Tom O'Horgan's re-envisioning of it). Too much time spent on Keith Carradine, a replacement "Claude". Not enough on how the international companies affected their respective countries. More on "behind-the-scenes" of putting on HAIR, dealing with back-stage politics(for that, find a copy of Lorrie Davis's "LETTING DOWN MY HAIR", sadly out-of-print- so try e-Bay). Too much time spent with Milos Forman, director of the misbegotten film version(which both authors Ragni and Rado detested, and while entertaining and musically outstanding, in no way captures the hippie lifestyle or captures the stage show's sponteniety). And WAY too much time spent on rehearsals for a revival.
All-in-all, this doc is worth a look...Read more ›
Ben Vereen, who acted in the original stage play, refers to Hair as a "movement;" and he is very much correct. Hair captured the essence of what so many young Americans thought about the war in Vietnam during the late 1960s. This documentary shows that Hair did not shy away from displaying the lives of these young people as people; they were not merely a "bunch of hippies" to be thoughtlessly discarded by society. The film shows how the musical brought out the hopes of this generation who openly questioned authority and spurned conventions, even doing a nude scene on stage was acceptable and indeed a declaration that the human body is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.
As for that archival footage, there's certainly no shortage of it. We see James Rado and Gerome Ragni on The Johnny Carson Show in 1968; and there's some footage of the cast of Hair performing a number on the same TV show as well. Look for a rather young Tim Curry being interviewed and we see Director Milos Forman reflect on his motion picture version of Hair. Hair actors Melba Moore and Keith Carradine also provide good insight and reflections on the original stage play; and it's all fascinating.
In addition, this motion picture makes it clear that, sadly, certain things have not changed.Read more ›
There's some great vintage performances of the original tribe including creators James Rado and Gerome Ragni as they perform in 1968 on "The Smothers Brothers" and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," and includes footage of the marquees of the various theaters that was showing the musical and newspaper reviews of "Hair" from that time period.
Rado (Claude) talks about the inspiration he and Gerome Ragni (Berger), fellow actor and writer of "Hair," had as they created the story that would not only change Broadway but would become a movement and a snapshot of one of the most turbulent times in America. Director Tom O'Horgan, producer Michael Butler, author Scott Miller Let the Sun Shine In: The Genius of HAIR, producer of the international versions of "Hair" Betrand Castelli, and the brilliant Galt McDermot who put the lyrics to music, all make appearances as does Milos Forman (who did the 1979 movie remake Hair) in the present day.
The film also makes comparisons to that era with today by showing footage from wars and protests from then with now. And there's footage of a new cast--not the one that's on Broadway now in 2009-this doc was made in 2007.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was totally disappointed. This is mostly photage from rehearsals of a new 2007 staging of Hair. Endless casting and rehearsals that are completely unengaging. Read morePublished on June 6, 2012 by Meretseger
If you lived through the 60's (and remember anything about them) this is a must see. Brought back many memories (both good and bad) of an era that defined our generation.Published on September 22, 2010 by Vincent P.
Great documentary exploring the history of the musical, the creators and the life and times of the 60's.Published on September 10, 2009 by V. Jackson
Coinciding with the successful Broadway revival of Hair comes the DVD release of the 2007 documentary Hair: Let the Sun Shine In. Read morePublished on June 4, 2009 by E. Chris Caggiano
This is a great behind-the-scenes documentary and a priceless tool for todays young theatre performers on how to tap into older shows energies for better understanding. Read morePublished on March 12, 2009 by N. Knott