Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last night I went to see Hair in Central Park. But actually, the day started at 5am, so I'll start from there.

The Public Theatre does free shows in the park over the summer. The shows are staged in an outdoor arena at the Delacourte Theatre, which is next to The Great Lawn in the park. In order to get tickets you must go to the theatre the day of the show and wait in line. The box Office opens at 1pm, but for most shows you need to get there earlier. We planned to get there at 6am (but actually made it by 7), when the park officially opens. There are people who will camp out all night though. Because there is no way of telling how fast the tickets will go, and Hair is THE BEST SHOW EVER, I wanted to make sure I got myself some tickets.

It turns out that it was a rainy day and very people showed up. Had we gotten there at noon we would have gotten tickets. But, the fact that we spent six hours waiting outside the box office that morning, two of them in the rain, proves just how hard core we are. Plus our seats were amazing. 4th row center. Not too close at all, as I worried they would be.

The show was... how do I even start? If I could see it ten more times I would be just as thrilled. It's no secret how much I love Hair. I did do a full victory dance in the living room of Colony House when Amanda informed me that it had been extended and I would be in NY for that time.

The set was made to look like a chunk of Central Park, that is, grass with worn patches. The band was towards the back in a bandstand with a psychedelic tie-dyed roof. And that's it. Because the point of Hair was that the show took what was going on outside on the streets and brought it to the stage. So the actors, in true form, ran bout the theatre, climbing around in the audience and the walls of the theatre itself.

The lights were amazing. I wish I could work one of these shows to really see how it works on a plot. The lights are so far from the stage. And it's outside. And the sun is still kind of setting when the show starts. And ohmygod those lights must be so much fun to hang and focus. There was some use of moving lights, but no overuse. What I thought the designer did in the most amazing way was color. There is a song in the second act where the cast starts singing colors because they are tripping and that designer matched them with the lights. I loved it. I loved it! It seems so logical and easy, but it looks so good. He got the lucid moments and the tripping moments and all the moments that are in between (most of the show). And this might be the first time I actually thought the footlights in a show looked good.

A few songs before intermission it started to rain again. No, no, no, nononononononono NO! The stage manager held the show. And we waited. It got heavier. And then it stopped. I may or may not have started cheering. I find it hard to contain myself sometimes, and really, I don't see why I should. The show continued. I danced in my seat.

It started to rain again during the second act and I cringed. I felt everyone in that theatre, even the actors, waiting for another announcement. But it never came. And when the rain stopped, I knew that it wouldn't start again. And it didn't. They finished the show. After curtain call the cast started pulling people on stage to dance, something I've always been petrified of, but I actually pushed Slokcum up towards the stage and grabbed Katie's hand to make her follow. Crazy dance party on the set of Hair in Central Park!!!! How could I be happier than to see my favorite show with three of my favorite people and then dance it out at the end?

So now I hear that the show is moving to Broadway. I hope it does well enough to stay for a while. It's much more of a summer musical, so I wonder when it will open. I hope I'll be around NY to see it. I hope it reaches people the way it is meant to. It's so hard to tell. I see a show like that and I can't understand how anyone would be underwhelmed. I don't understand how anyone could see that show and not immediately want to change the world. But I guess that's because I go in there wanting to change the world. Maybe it's the knowledge that people before me have done it, and that's what keeps me hopeful.

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