We finally got around to seeing CanStage‘s anachronistic (and possibly mid-life crisis-induced) production of Hair last night. As the photos in the adverts promise, the cast is young, gorgeous, and sometimes scantily clad. The tagline in the adverts (“Now More Than Ever”) is less accurate, however.
Hair is very much a product of its time, a reaction to the draft and the Vietnam War, and a celebration of the free-lovin’ hippy lifestyle. And while there are certainly parallels to be drawn between the problems of the 1960s and the problems of today, this production fails to do any such thing. The result is an irrelevent and very confusing show broken up by the occasional awesome song (we can never hear Good Morning, Starshine without thinking of the residents of Springfield standing around in their “Homer is a Dope” t-shirts). You know how when the Japanese take a liking to something distinctly North American and try to recreate it, and it feels forced and surreal? That’s how this production of Hair feels – it got lost in translation, somehow, and it so lacks for specificity and context that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.