Hair

The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

Location: Charity Randall Theatre. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Company: UP Stages

Let the Sun
Shine In

The musical that defined a generation.

First produced Off-Broadway in 1967 at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, the show opened on Broadway at the Biltmore, now Samuel J. Friedman, Theatre in 1968. The show tells the story of a trio of unlikely friends, Claude, Sheila, and Berger, and the Tribe that surrounds them. They are swept up in the counter-culture movement of the ’60s. Love and politics, however, clash when Claude is drafted into the Vietnam War.

Produced by UP Stages in November of 2016, in the midst of a period of renewed political turmoil and cultural protest, the musical that defined a generation proves its timelessness. As valid now as it ever was. In the end, there are no races, no nations, no “other” to fear.

AWARDS

2016-2017
Best Projection Design
UP Stages Season Awards

SELECTED REVIEWS

The theater department’s intense production plans paid off, with the front half of a bus sticking out into the middle of the stage and gridiron columns traced with vines anchoring the set. The rest of the show’s effects rely on video projections, especially in the groovy “Walking in Space.” The tribe gets high, and the stage itself turns into a magnificent lava lamp, painting the whole room in a host of trippy colors, the stage shining with orange, red and blue.

The Pitt News

As the final number “Let the Sunshine In” swells to a climax, and the overhead projections, which previously had been archival photographs or footage of napalm bombing, change to BLM protesters, consent activists, and other contemporary social issues, the immediacy of production becomes clear. “At what age did you lose your compassion?” a sign hanging in the balcony questioned. And it’s as valid now as it ever was. In the end, there are no races, no nations, no “other” to fear. There is only The Tribe.

PA Theatre Guide

All this nudging builds to the finale when the cast joins hands, singing “Let the Sun Shine In,” a symphonic flower child anthem of hope. During the song, there’s a projection of images from the present: young black men with hands up, police lights shining off their faces, as well as protesters hoisting signs that read, “REAL MEN DON’T RAPE” and “REFUGEES WELCOME, RACISTS GO HOME,” fully realizing the timelessness of “Hair.”

The Pitt News

CREDITS

Music

Galt MacDermot

Lyricist

Gerome Ragni and James Rando

Book

Gerome Ragni and James Rando

Director

Cynthia Croot

Choreographer

Amanda Olmstead

Scenic Design

Zev Woskoff

Costume Design

Minjee Kasckow

Lighting Design

Jessica Smith

Sound Design

Casey Dalsass

Projection Design

Joe Spinogatti for Joe Spinogatti Designs

JSD TEAM

Projection Design

Joe Spinogatti

Projections Programmer/Operator

Charles Kronk

Filming Assistant

Steven Yates