With the enormous success of Jesus Christ Superstar – Live in Concert this past Easter holiday weekend, it is not a surprise that the producers would want to plan an exciting and edgy follow-up. Executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have come through for television and theatre audiences, announcing that their next venture will be Hair Live! “The Age of Aquarius” will come to NBC and tribal rock musical Hair will perform live in front of an audience in the spring of 2019.
“I’m overjoyed that James Rado and Galt MacDermot are trusting us with their masterpiece Hair, one of the most original shows ever conceived for Broadway with one of the greatest scores,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “These songs are part of the vocabulary of popular music, and this rebellious story of young people protesting and standing up for what they believe in is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. This will be the perfect live event, and I’m looking forward to seeing Craig and Neil, along with our partners at MGM and the original creators bring the audience to their feet as they experience these beloved songs and recognizable young characters.”
Hair burst onto the Broadway scene in 1968, after gestating and evolving Off-Broadway (including The Public Theatre), bringing with it Rock & Roll, forever changing the musical vocabulary of Broadway. With music by Galt McDermot, and book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, the musical was a phenomenon that directly tackled the turbulence of the 1960s, telling the story of a band of hippies. Hair addressed war, peace, drugs, politics, civil rights, environmental issues, sex and sexuality, the generation gap, and myriad other controversial topics.
“When we both, individually, saw Hair on Broadway, we were knocked out by how musical theater could be stretched into something so daring, immersive and audacious,” said Zadan and Meron. “Its recent Broadway revival showed how timeless the show is and that it’s relevant to any era. Hair is filled with heartfelt emotion, joy and thrilling music and it really will be the new dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”
Hair boasts a string of hits that have been played all over the globe, including “(The Age of) Aquarius,” “Let the Sunshine In,” Good Morning Starshine,” (all #1 hits in 1969), “Hair,” “Manchester, England,” “Frank Mills,” and “I Got No.”
More details about casting and the creative team for Hair Live! will be revealed as the production date gets closer.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.