Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hair Let the Sunshine In|
Actors: Tim Curry, Melba Moore, Ben Vereen, Keith Carradine, Milos Forman
Directors: Wolfgang Held, Pola Rapaport
Genres: Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Since its overwhelming success on Broadway forty years ago, HAIR has inspired generations with its messages of love, non-violence and liberation. This definitive and entertaining documentary highlights the continuing relev... more »
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Okay, but sadly lacking...
Hutch | Las Vegas, Nevada USA | 12/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"HAIR is such a monumental piece of theater, that there is no way a 55 minute documentary would possibly be able to cover its impact.
With that said, here are some of the pluses and minuses of this film:
On the plus side... the show's relevance to the current world political climate. MOST of the interviews, especially from three authors of books about the show(one from the original Broadway cast, another from the final performance and especially Scott Miller, who also posted his review here on AMAZON). Many of the songs from the score, either performed or used as background(although amusingly, "Easy To Be Hard" is credited to Off-Broadway's "Sheila", Jill O'Hara, and NOT correctly to the film's astounding Cheryl Barnes). Clips of both the Broadway and Los Angeles companies (although sadly, the NY company's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" has vanished into the hitherlands).
On the minus side- not enough interviews with OTHER members from HAIR's Broadway cast(or original OFF-BROADWAY production, prior to Tom O'Horgan's re-envisioning of it). Too much time spent on Keith Carradine, a replacement "Claude". Not enough on how the international companies affected their respective countries. More on "behind-the-scenes" of putting on HAIR, dealing with back-stage politics(for that, find a copy of Lorrie Davis's "LETTING DOWN MY HAIR", sadly out-of-print- so try e-Bay). Too much time spent with Milos Forman, director of the misbegotten film version(which both authors Ragni and Rado detested, and while entertaining and musically outstanding, in no way captures the hippie lifestyle or captures the stage show's sponteniety). And WAY too much time spent on rehearsals for a revival.
All-in-all, this doc is worth a look... but you'd seriously gain way more information and insight by reading LETTING DOWN MY HAIR, THE AGE OF HAIR, GOOD HAIR DAYS and most importantly LET THE SUNSHINE IN: THE GENIUS OF HAIR, the four books about one of the greatest musicals ever created."
Brilliant Look at a Brilliant Show
Scott E. Miller | St. Louis, MO USA | 11/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you think HAIR is a cute, silly, hippie musical, this documentary will cure you of that. This is a penetrating, intelligent look at the brilliant, ground-breaking, still profoundly relevent 60s musical about war, politics, love, drugs, sex, and our place in the world. The film includes interviews with the show's creators, producers, original cast members, and much more. When it's done the way it's meant to be, HAIR is a serious, important, shattering piece of theatre and this documentary explains why it still works. (Maybe it will help rid of us of all those productions of HAIR that try to make it into Godspell.) Having directed the show three times and written a book about it ("Let the Sun Shine In: The Genius of HAIR"), I can say that this is the best documentary about a piece of theatre I've ever seen."
The best documentary on US 60s Counter-Culture - A French T
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The musical hair, which celebrated it's 40th Anniversary last year with a number of "anniversary" revivals, is coming back to Broadway again this holiday season. The show truly reflected what was going on in the country (the US, though it was expanding outside the US borders). The US was involved in the conflict in Vietnam and "young Americans" were trying to stop the war. Sexual liberation was happening and so was the rise of the hippie drug culture. Two New York actors, Jim Rado and Jerome Ragni put together a "script" and wrote a few songs. They hooked up with composer Galt McDermott and tried it out on a few people. Joseph Papp who was forming the New York Shakespeare Festival (to present new plays off-Broadway) was looking for an opening show. And this turned out to be "Hair". EVERYONE knows the "hit" song "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In", and most know the others.
The story of the show from its inception through the filmed version - Directed by Milos Forman in his first English language production - and on to the revivals is expertly told in this hour-long documentary made in 2007 for FRENCH Television! (Yes, it's all in English). There are rehearsals for the 2007 revival, great archival footage of the original cast performing on the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" in 1968, and interviews with Forman, Rado, Director Tom O' Horgan , and "Hair" cast members Melba Moore, Ben Vereen and Keith Carridine. The documentary's Director also includes clips of the war in Iraq and President Bush to show that - in many ways - not much has changed.
The real treat is the nearly 40 minutes of BONUS interviews with Forman, Rado and Vereen (though Vereen seems to stretch out his answers a bit too long.)
Why it took a French TV company to make one of the best in-depth documentaries on a Broadway musical is beyond me. But, thanks to Alive Mind Media and their distributor Koch Home Video, it's now available for all in the US to see. A copy of this belongs in every theater library as well as course required viewing for any 20th Century Popular Culture course!