It’s incredibly hard not to have fun at Hair, the Broadway revival camped out at Paramount Theatre through December 4. So what if bell bottoms are out, the draft’s been abolished, and LSD’s been illegal for over 40 years? Every now and then, you just need a quality hippie lovefest, and this production delivers. They’ll even give you a flower for your hair.
Whether you saw the original “American Tribal Love Rock Musical” in 1968 or you’re a twentysomething trying to interpret transcendental flower power, you’ll appreciate the quality of this touring cast: a high-energy bunch that rivals the 2009 Broadway lineup and doesn’t look half-bad naked. (Yes, they get naked.) Of particular note are leads Steel Burkhardt as bare-chested Berger, and Paris Remillard as soft-hearted Claude, both Broadway tribe members promoted for the national tour. Burkhardt swings his wild lion’s mane and cozies up to audience members in the front row with abandon, while Remillard is the show’s heart: the hippie teen caught between acid-fused romps and adulthood. They have enough charisma between the two of them to carry the show; thankfully, they don’t have to.
Things get trippy in the second act—literally—and the show goes off point a bit, but by the time the opening riff to “Let the Sun Shine In” plays, you’re surprised by how quickly everything’s happened. All that running up and down the aisles, and beautiful music by Galt MacDermot about sex, drugs, peace, and love…. It’s practically manic, in a good way. Was it ever more fun to be young, to be stoned, than in 1967?