Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

May 13, 2011


The Bushnell, Hartford,CT
through May 1, 2011
by Eric Sutter

In a word, the 60's were about change. America went from down home values to the musical revolt of Woodstock. During that span of time came the Tribal Love Rock Musical "Hair." A revival of the Tony Award winning musical appeared at the Bushnell with a groovalicious production of color and sound from the hippie era. The themes of equality and tolerance were weaved into the drama with love by the cast. The Tribe sang melliflously strong with lead character's solos standing out with each number. It was sensual from the start with the song "Aquarius," as Berger (Steel Burkhardt) disrobed and revealed a loin cloth at the sound of a gong. Provocative numbers "Hashish" and "Sodomy" set the tone for a wild ride of freedom. Sheila (Caren Lyn Tackett) sang heartily for "I Believe In Love" as the Tribe infiltrated the startled audience with a "Peace Now" chant and protest signs. After Claude's (Paris Remillard) draft notice arrived, he sang "I Got Life" to  scene his Dad (Josh Lamon). The title song was a free spirited hair waving dance, wild in the aisles. Tackett sang the popular "Easy To Be Hard." The tribe reminisced "Hare Krishna" consciousness for the audience, followed by "Where Do I Go" at which time they shed their clothes. The first Act was jam packed.

In Act 2, the Tribe sang "Oh Great God Of Power" with flashlights under chin ominosity on darkened stage. A clever segment from a hallucination scene challenged racism. "Four Score and Seven Years Ago" featured Shaleah Adkisson as Abraham Lincoln with the boys who sang doo-wop style. Spectacular dancing throughout kept it lively...until Claude's hallucination ended and is drafted by the Army. Tackett sang the hippie anthem, "Good Morning Starshine" with flowers passed to audience members for revived flower power. Jeanie (Kacie Sheik) fit her hippie girl role well with resonated love and beauty that remembered the times. With Claude laid on an American flag center stage, the full cast belted out "Let The Sunshine In" up the aisles with voices trailing off as the stage faded to black. The finale reprised "Hair" and a hand waving "Let The Sundshine In" with a not to be missed ending.