WANT TO GO?
Presented by Broadway in Charleston
WHERE: Clay Center
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday
TICKETS: $37 and $58.50
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Few musicals have stirred up quite as much controversy as the '60s-era rock musical "Hair."
From the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, the Grammy and Tony award-winning show about 1960s counter-culture, societal upheaval and resistance to the Vietnam War was a headline grabber.
Objecting to everything from the show's nudity and coarse language to its sexual and political themes, groups in the South frequently picketed the touring production. In Cleveland, a firebomb was thrown at the theater where "Hair" was set to open, and the show essentially was chased out of Mexico.
Director Charles Roy, whose revival of "Hair" comes to the Clay Center Monday night, doesn't expect quite the same reaction with this 21st-century tour. He hopes audiences will still find it provocative, although it might not exactly be the same play they remember.
"The show had gotten caught up in its own iconic status," Roy said. "It became more about the beads, the Afros and the tie-dyes than why this show was created in the first place."
The director said "Hair" was an act of defiance. It was an act of protest.
"With this production, we're trying to reconnect the show to its provocative roots."
Still, Roy promised the show is everything fans of the rock musical remember -- and maybe a bit more.