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Hair Makes an Emancipation Proclamation at the Orpheum Theater

The age of Aquarius is dawning again this week at the Orpheum
The age of Aquarius is dawning again this week at the Orpheum
Courtesy of the Hennepin Theatre Trust

Hair, the musical revival

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Many will claim that America went through its adolescent phase in the 1960s; the country was discovering itself, its power, and its potential. Furthermore, social norms try to limit adolescence to a single time when we are allowed to transition, experiment and discover what we humans are even doing here on this planet. But staying true to pure democratic form,HAIR insists that we revisit this transitional phase, not once, but eternally. We must constantly be willing to break things apart, examine life objectively, and continue passionately toward a goal that is not based on knowing and having, but on being and feeling. It's peaceful, it's loving, and it's well...a hippie-dippy kind of thing.

HAIR paints a lyrical picture of the sixties, a time when hippies and militants defended two completely different ideals of freedom. There's the side that believes that freedom is something you fight for, and the side the thinks that freedom is what you achieve when you stop fighting.

The story follows a gang of free-spirited drifters that devote their time to singing the praises of peace and free love. But the tribe also thrives on many hallucinogens and other drugs, splitting their minds between fantasy and reality. Because of these seemingly irresponsible choices, their message is often lost to the conformists. HAIR highlights the hangups that the hippies of the sixties faced when as they tried, through peaceful dissent, to bring an end to a bloody war. And though we now know how the Viet Nam conflict ends, the colorful energy of HAIR will excite and empower you to take a stand for whatever you believe.

The timing of this revival of HAIR is key. The country is certainly headed toward a similar time of adolescence, a post-war reexamination of goals and possibilities, and most importantly, tensions are higher than even before. But this time, we have the gift of technology expanding our view on a global scale. We not only see the tension in our own towns, but we connect with people around the world on a personal level that share the same basic desire of peace and domestic tranquility.

Among this, HAIR is a force of unity. It brings all kinds of people into the theater, for whatever reason. But at the end, no matter their job, their politics, or even their skin color, they become one group of the same species dancing to the same beat. That part admittedly made me shed a tear. If there ever was a weapon for peace-lovers, HAIR is that weapon.

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