Thursday, 15 December 2011

Hair (Stage Musical)

One thing that I love to do when I get the chance is to go to the West End and see a show. I haven't seen a huge amount of shows since I don't live in London and don't have the money to go down there all the time - but over the past two years I've seen the musicals Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Hair, Les Miserables and The Lion King and the play Much Ado About Nothing. I'll be seeing Sweeney Todd next April too. I've absolutely loved all of the shows that I've seen so far apart from Hair. I was quite curious to see it since it had gotten some good reviews and I hadn't yet seen a rock musical. Well, I can honestly that I'm mystified by all the hype it has. The songs aren't even that good! Yes, Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In are great tunes and the title song is pretty catchy but the rest of the songs are boring and instantly forgettable. Apparently Leonard Bernstein walked out of the show when he saw it back in the 60s because he hated the music and Richard Rodgers and John Lennon weren't fans either so at least I'm in good company!

Another issue that I have with the show is that there is NO real plot or story to speak of. Basically it's about this hippy called Claude who is desperate to avoid getting drafted to the Vietnam War. We get scenes with him and his hippy friends going on about how they love being hippies and hate the war, an extended scene in Act 2 where Claude gets high on drugs and has wacked-out hallucinations, and Claude gets drafted. The End. Now I think the lack of a real plot wouldn't have bothered me so much if the songs had been good (but you already know my feelings on the show's music) and the characters had been likeable or sympathetic. But they're not. Every single hippy is obnoxious, annoying, drug-addled, promiscuous, ridiculously naive, smug and self-righteous. They're all so unlikeable! And the LSD hallucination, which could (and should) have been quite interesting, was just extremely dull. So, yeah, I have a lot of distaste for this musical.

Rating: 2/5 (1 star for the few good songs it had, another star for the decent cast)

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