Tonight was a treat for me. It was opening night of HAIR at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City. I had never been to the Kauffman Center before, so I was in for an experience--an enjoyable one.
The rock musical was written in the early 1960's and features a group of young adults (referred to as "the tribe") in the New York City area who are caught up in all of the hippie lifestyle. Life for them revolves around sex, drugs, and the issues of society. The Viet Nam War is a major part of the storyline. One of the members of the tribe gets drafted, but does not burn his draft card as the others in the tribe did. He faces the fears of going to war, the admonishment of his parents for his current lifestyle, and how the Army will "make a man out of him."
Cultural issues are brought into play regarding skin color, religious standards, and politics. Some of the songs include, "Sodomy," "White Boys," "Black Boys," and others. There is a scene where the tribe is disrespectful to the American flag. The characters carry signs for one part of the musical about love and peace. My personal favorite, and one I remember from growing up, "Save water. Shower with a friend."
The performance brings the hippie lifestyle front and center. There are scenes with them portraying sex acts on the stage, rolling joints, smoking pot, and using foul language. This rock musical is rated for mature audiences only. The ending of Act One contains brief nudity.
Although the rock musical contained many behaviors that are not exactly on the list of things I approve of, the storyline was good. It covered many issues of society that are still valid today. The music was very enjoyable. The members of the tribe did not stay on the stage for the whole performance. Interaction with the audience members occurred quite often; including invitations for them to go up on stage to dance with the tribe at the end of the show.
The Kauffman Center is a beautiful facility. Parking is convenient. Ushers and other staff are quite friendly and helpful. At intermission, coffee, wine, cookies, and other refreshments were available. Complimentary cups of water were offered as well.
The rock-musical, HAIR, runs through Sunday, February 10, 2013. The shows are at 7:30p.m. Wednesday through Friday evenings. Saturday has two performances: 2:00p.m. and 7:30p.m. Two performances on Sunday are at 1:00p.m. and 6:30p.m. For tickets and other information, please go to http://www.kauffmancenter.org/.
Take a trip back to the 1960's and "Let the Sun Shine In" by heading to the Kauffman Center to have your own experience with HAIR.