Hair promises a multi-sensory experience

Step back into the 1960s! The music, the passion, the era comes to life, Feb. 9-13 when Hair, a cultural phenomenon that defined a generation, appears in the University Theatre.

This colourful rock musical is presented nightly at 8 p.m. on Feb. 9-11 and 13. On Feb. 12 there are performances at 7 p.m. and midnight.

Set in New York City, a tribe of longhaired hippies celebrates their pacifist bohemian lifestyle, vehemently condemning the Vietnam War and embracing the sexual revolution. Through dance and song, Hair exposes the fervor of a contentious era.

"Although this musical is 40-years-old, its themes are still relevant," says choreographer Lisa Doolittle. "Recently revived on Broadway, Hair has a reputation for being controversial, but remains significant today with our consciousness of war and ecological awareness. Hair is about protest and about youth taking over the world. The main plot is about war – for a musical, the theme is sobering, but sends a message of optimism."

The production includes more than 50 musical numbers, each choreographed by Doolittle and directed by drama faculty colleague, Gail Hanrahan.

"The music ranges from doo-wop, to mop-top British rock and psychedelic rock. The choreography has been so much fun to research – to incorporate the different dance styles," says Doolittle.

Music Director Bente Hansen conducts the live 14-piece rock band complete with horns, guitars and keyboards.

"Hair is truly a multi-sensory extravaganza, from the hippie-style sets designed by Jim Wills, to the incredible costumes, designed by Leslie Robison-Greene," says Doolittle. "Based on the way the roof comes off the studio during rehearsals, this show will be high energy and unforgettable."

Hair contains mature content and themes.

Tickets for Hair are available for $15 regular and $10 student/senior at the University Box Office (403-329-2616).