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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hair: The American Tribal Love Rock Musical November 11-20, 2011, in the Babcock Theatre (SLC: Nov 11 - 20)

November 3, 2011

CONTACT:  Amy Oakeson
 Communications Specialist, Department of Theatre
 801-581-6406 or amy.oakeson@utah.edu 
Peace, Love and Rock-n-Roll!

The U Department of Theatre Presents
Hair: The American Tribal Love Rock Musical 
November 11-20, 2011, in the Babcock Theatre

           The U Department of Theatre is ecstatic to present the Tony-award winning Hair: The American Tribal Love Rock Musical November 11-20 in the Babcock Theatre. This landmark show of the 1960's has been called "more relevant than ever" by the New York Times, and the U Department of Theatre is one of very few companies given permission to produce the piece while the national Broadway touring company is still in progress. This is an enormously rare opportunity, and the U Department of Theatre is thrilled to showcase the talents of students in the newly formed Musical Theatre Program with this seminal production.

           Hair is the musical celebration of life, a love letter to freedom, and a passionate cry for hope and change.  It is the story of a group of friends who struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against war, their conservative parents, and society.  In the waning days of their adolescence, and on the brink of adulthood, they are angry, hostile, confused, and frightened of how the future is going to change them and of not knowing what comes next.  Ultimately, they choose to speak up and sing out in celebration of peace, love, freedom, happiness and life.  The first great rock musical, Hair has some of the most rousing and soulful songs ever written for the stage including “Let the Sunshine In,” “Easy to be Hard,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “Aquarius,” and the infectious title song, “Hair.” 

            Hair was originally conceived by actors James Rado and Gerome Ragni. The tumultuous 1960's were a time of emotional and political upheaval, but all across the country people were rallying for hope and peace. Rado and Ragni wrote Hair, along with composer Galt MacDermot, as a reflection of the frustrations, turmoil, and excitement among the young people of their day. It was certainly one of the most adventurous, unconventional, and ultimately profound musicals to be produced on Broadway.

            In 2009, Hair was revived on Broadway, receiving eight Tony nominations, and winning the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for "Best Revival of a Musical," proving that the musical possesses a timelessness and a meaning that outlived the era of "flower power." Its themes are universal, and resonate with a new generation of young people who, today, are faced with many of the same feelings of frustration, turmoil and upheaval experienced by youth of the 60's.   

            Directing the U's production of Hair is Alex Gelman, former head of the MFA Directing program at the University of Utah and current Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University and Producing Artistic Director of Chicago's Organic Theater Company. Gelman is an enormously accomplished director, having helmed productions at some of the most iconic and esteemed theatre companies in the nation including American Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Canterbury Opera (Christchurch, New Zealand), Chicago Lyric Opera, Utah Opera, Ashlawn-Highland Music Festival, Chattanooga Opera Association, Hartford Stage Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, and The Juilliard School of Drama. Says Gelman of the production, "We're not eager to make a political statement, but I certainly think the piece is timely and modern. The country is in a raw and passionate place, not unlike 1968 . Our focus is young people--who they are and what they are so ardently fighting for."            
           Hair will be presented in the Babcock Theatre November 11-20 at 7:30 PM with additional matinees on November 19 & 20 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $20 for General Admission, $15 for University of Utah Faculty and Staff $15, and free for University of Utah students with a valid U Card under the new U and the Arts initiative.  Tickets are $7.50 for all other students with valid ID. Individual tickets and Season Flexpasses for the U Department of Theatre’s season can be obtained now by calling 801-581-7100, online at www.kingsburyhall.org <http://www.kingsburyhall.org> , or at the Performing Arts Box Office, located at Kingsbury Hall. 

This production contains strong language, and depicts sex and the use of illegal drugs on stage.

Publicity photos available upon request.

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