‘Hair’ wraps up at the Winspear Opera House

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Cast members of “Hair” raise their posters in protest at opening night at the Dallas Winspear Opera House. (Courtesy of Hairontour.com)

Housed under the red hue and sharp lines of Dallas’ Winspear Opera House, “Hair,” one of Broadway’s longest running and most beloved musicals, comes to a close this weekend after its two week run in Dallas.

“Hair” takes a trip (literally) back to America’s 1960s, where love was wanted, drugs were taken and sex was a given.

Branded with the name “Hair: The American Tribal-Love Rock Musical,” the performance isn’t like any other show to have passed through Dallas.

Coming from the minds of James Rado and Gerome Ragni, “Hair” has had numerous successful shows across the world, a movie made out of it in 1979 and most recently received many awards, including a Tony, when it was revived for Broadway in its 2008 season.

“Hair” opens the show with a provocative crowd greeting by Steel BurkHardt, who plays Berger in the musical.

Clad in nothing but a fringed vest and thong, Burkhardt confidently greets his audience with a plethora of pelvis thrust and shimmies that would make even the bravest blush.

Escalating to the point where cash was being shoved into his fringed thong, Burkhardt’s opening number was just the tip of the raunchy iceberg that is “Hair.”

Putting its dirty opening aside, “Hair” continues with a strong opening with one of its most famous songs, “Aquarius.”

During this song, one of the show’s most dominating performers, Phyre Hawkins who plays Dionne, makes her first appearance.

As a singer, Hawkins’ in a class of her own, with each song the performer got better and better, crescendoing in the musical’s last song.

With the musical’s band on stage in what looked to be a rickety backdrop of wood boards and flower power, “Hair” continues with Act 1.

The way the show is structured could throw the audience off.

The first act severely lacks much (if any) story line, but is anchored by standout songs like “Machester,” “England,” “Ain’t Got No” and “Hare Krishna.”

Think of Hair’s first act not a musical, but as conversation amongst old friends.

Bracketed by the ominous Vietnam war, “Hair” finally gets a little more structure as its main character Claude, played in this case by Paris Remillard, is left with the decision to either burn his draft card or die in what his friend’s view as a pointless war.

Throughout Act 2, we see Paris’ character struggle with the decision to go to war.

As most of his friends have already burned their draft cards, Claude’s parents have pressured him to go to war.

Eventually, Claude cuts his hair, put on his uniform and heads out to war.

Most of the numbers in “Hair” can be defined with one word: dirty.

The scantily clad cast members with long hair and little clothes freely dry hump each other in precarious positions, hoping to shock the audience.

However, as jarring as the show may be, “Hair” just like it’s main character Claude, gets serious in the end with the haunting performance of “Let the Sun Shine In.”

With Claude already at war, “Hair” throws out its happy disposition and takes on a much somber note.

As snowflakes gradually fall on the Winspear stage, an American flag opens up.

Laying under the flag is the lifeless body of Claude, dressed honorably in his military uniform.

With their friend lost, the cast of “Hair” slowly makes their way out of the theater pleading to its audience to “Let the Sun Shine In.”

“Hair” pushes the boundaries of most staged shows, but with a stellar cast and solid staging, this rock musical is one for the ages.

“Hair” runs at the Winspear until Oct. 2. 

3 recommended
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