The American Tribal Love Rock Musical HAIR is as poignant now as it was when it was released. The MCCC Academic Theatre Company interpretation was stellar.
With beautiful staging (Lou J Stalsworth), and a fabulous set and scene (Jim Petro) the hippie vibe exists in the theater as a whole and not just on the stage. Costumes (Kate Pinner) were for the most part well above par, lighting (Robert A. Terrano) was very well done.
All of the HAIR tribe were very good and well cast; specific praise goes to the following:
Jonathan V. Polanco (Claude) was praiseworthy from start to finish, his gorgeous voice was an audience pleaser from the moment he first opened his mouth until the curtain call. Every moment he was performing I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
Dan Johnson (Berger) had excellent comedic timing and a strong if unique singing voice. Johnson was very well cast as Berger and moved with the confidence and stagger of a true HAIR tribe leader.
Tia Brown (Lincoln) had a wonderful voice and was a beautiful dancer.
Mariah King (Crissy) was a hilarious Crissy and was another VERY beautiful dancer.
Seret Gomez-Ryan (Tribe) was another very strong singer who I could always pick out of the group numbers.
Alex Kornberg (Margaret) was amazing and had the best comedic moment of the show, and moved with a confidence and bravery that few men could do in this show.
Liz Lackey (Sheila) has the second strongest voice in the show, however she tended to focus more on her singing and less on her characterizations.
Joseph Schachter (Woof) was funny throughout and never broke character on stage.
Tonya Tradewell (Dionne) was the strongest and most consistent female vocals of the show, and never disappointed.
Last and far from least Reginald Brockington (Hud) had a voice and characterizations that rivaled both Johnson and Polanco, had the show been racially reversed he could have just as well played either of those characters. I look forward to hopefully seeing him again in future productions.
The musical direction (Anthony DiDia) and beautiful choreography (Jody P. Person) really helped pull together this amazing cast.
Fans of musicals, friends of and former hippies, or anyone else looking to enjoy a drugged-out musical can happily expect a great night full of laughs and maybe some tears watching HAIR at Kelsey Theatre.
Music by Galt MacDermot
Book and Lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni
Director: Lou J. Stalsworth
Musical Director: Anthony DiDia
April 25 – May 4, 2014
MCCC Academic Theatre Company
Mercer County Community College