HAIR: Love-rock Tribal Musical Lets the Sun Shine in at CTC

by Patricia Bradford

City Theater Company closes the 22nd season this April with HAIR, one of America’s most iconic musicals. Featuring book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot, the nearly 50-year old show still speaks to modern audiences as it confronts issues such as racism, equal rights, homophobia, and war.

Producing Artistic Director Michael Gray chose to tackle HAIR for the second time (it was CTC’s first show after returning to The Black Box in 2006) after directing the Regional Premiere of Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT last May. “The decision to revisit HAIR a decade later was impacted by the structural parallels to AMERICAN IDIOT,” says Gray. “Both are groundbreaking rock musicals featuring coming-of-age stories in a time of war and unrest, but each cast of characters interprets those experiences very differently.”

Hair features thirteen actors in its Tribe, many of whom appeared in CTC’s AMERICAN IDIOT. That’s by design, says Gray: “I was intrigued by approaching HAIR with a cast of actors who came of age in Green Day’s America. How does this show resonate for them today? The themes and issues still ring incredibly true, so how does this inform our telling of the story so many years later?“
The production team is also familiar from AMERICAN IDIOT, with award-winning rock artist Joe Trainor once again playing keys, leading the band, and music directing. Trainor turned down the opportunity to be part of CTC’s production 10 years ago due to scheduling conflicts. When approached this time, he couldn’t say no. Says Trainor, “I really wanted to dive in to this score, which is constructed from so many musical influences. There’s blues, rock, folk, funk elements throughout. It’s a fascinating look at how vital music is to cultures of protest, then and now. To get to perform this show live and relate through sound just how these songs are as relevant to 2016 as in 1968? That’s a fantastic job for a musician.”

Set and lighting designers Vicki Neale and Richard Kendrick are also back, building an in-the-round space with stadium seating for the audience and moving scaffolding for the actors. Their set is enhanced with an original mural by newcomer Terrance Vann, an up-and-coming Wilmington artist whose work has been garnering notice up and down the East Coast. Vann is excited to collaborate with CTC on creating an art piece that will live as part of the performance, saying “It has been awesome opportunity to be able to work with a group as passionate and talented as CTC. I love the creative energy they bring to their process, which makes my job much easier when coming up with ideas visually. I am excited to have my mural be apart of such a stellar production.”

The cast includes Pam Atk, William Bryant Brock III, Ben Oliver Deane, Dylan Geringer, Jeff Hunsicker, Liat Kovnator, Adam Montgomery, George M. Murphy, Dominic Santos, Frank Schierloh, Kyleen Shaw, Brendan Sheehan, Grace Tarves.

Book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado. Music by Galt MacDermot. Directed by Michael Gray. Music Directed by Joe Trainor. Choreographed by Tommy Fisher-Klein and Dawn Morningstar. Scenic and lighting design by Richard Kendrick and Vicki Neale. Costume design by Kerry Kristine McElrone and Lauren Peters. Assistant Directed by Jeff Robleto.

TICKET DETAILS: General admission $25. Limited VIP seating $40 and includes complimentary drinks and cast-signed program. Tickets for children 16 and under are $15. Students and military tickets are $15 with proper ID. Production runs Friday, April 1 through Saturday, April 9, 2016, with one $15 Preview on March 31, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. All other shows 8:00 p.m. except one 2:00 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 3. All shows at The Black Box, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19805. Tickets available now at ###

Theater/Organization City Theater Company
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: The Black Box 4 S. Poplar Street Wilmington, Delaware 19806 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (302) 220-8285

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