A true HAIR revival in New Jersey! My production opens NEXT WEEK!

Tribe –

Next weekend, I open my production of HAIR at the 1400-seat, historic COUNT BASIE THEATRE in Red Bank, NJ.

If you didn’t know, this is my second time directing HAIR this year, going from a 100-seat venue to a 1400-seat venue. The reviews were extraordinary. Now, a tribe of 25 (with a few returning for the 3rd, even 7th time), I’m staying true to much of the original staging, and introducing some script that hasn’t been in a while (“Aunt Jemima pancakes… stacks and stacks of ’em!”, and much more), as well as using some fresher arrangements and keeping it loud and fast! Our lighting designer is Rich Borders, who designed a HAIR tour nearly 30 years ago and was an originator of the psychedelic lighting design. He continues to work with The Who and other classic rock bands.

Please consider coming. We are shouting our message from the streets of Red Bank!! We’ve been performing at festivals, bars, street corners, and backyards. The anticipation is wild. I’ve been doing newspaper interviews and radio spots — now more than ever, we need to be heard!

The show runs September 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 @ the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, presented by Phoenix Productions, directed by Anthony D’Amato. The website is www.countbasietheatre.org or www.phoenixredbank.com, and you can call the Phoenix Box Office for best available seating at 732.747.0014 … tickets are nearly sold out for the Saturday evenings… and selling quickly for the others.

Please contact me if you need more info or you’re planning on coming!! I would love to meet, do a lunch, grab a drink or a smoke.



This entry was posted on Thursday, August 31st, 2006 at 10:43 AM and filed under Uncategorized. Follow comments here with the RSS 2.0 feed. Skip to the end and leave a response. Trackbacks are closed.

8 Responses to “A true HAIR revival in New Jersey! My production opens NEXT WEEK!”

  1. Anthony D'Amato said:

    ALSO — there is a train station two blocks away from the theatre. NJ Transit, North Jersey Coast Line out of Penn Station to Red Bank!

  2. Michael Butler said:

    I will be in NYC and might be able to come Saturday 9th. How long a RR ride and how long to drive?
    Sounds fascinatingPeace and Love,

  3. Anthony D'Amato said:

    Brother Michael – It’s no more than an hour RR ride, and usually takes me
    about 45mins to drive from Manhattan to Red Bank. VERY central location,
    like I said the train is two blocks away.

    I was just about to contact to you about this, too! Let me know what you
    think… I can put aside some tickets for you for the 9th; I know it’s
    nearly sold.


  4. Michael Butler said:

    Let’s plan on it. Natalie Mosco has kindly offered to coordinate. I do hope Nina can come. I am sure Debbie & Mike along with Bob Camuto. Also want to see if Jim Rado would be able. I hope Nancy Friday will come as well.They will decide about transport. I suspect car to be best – love RR so cool either way.
    Peace and Love,

  5. Anthony D'Amato said:

    Amazing. Really looking forward to this. Michael, I put two tickets on hold for Saturday the 9th. The show is just about sold out… something like only 4 tickets left.

    Shall I put them under your name and hold them at box office will call? If you need more, let me know. I will see what I can work out!

  6. Nina said:

    Hmmm this is problematical, as the group discussing going is larger than that. Anthony, send me an email off the board and we shall figure it out…

    Is there a matinee that day as well?

  7. Anthony D'Amato said:

    Sent you an e-mail Nina. 🙂 There’s no matinee, just our opening evening performance!

  8. Tioga Joe said:

    Dear Anthony, I posted these comments elsewhere in the MB-HAIR blog, but lemme attach them to your initial announcement about your HAIR here (good HAIR, BTW).
    HAiR, USA, New Jersey, Red Bank, Phoenix Productions, Sat., Sept. 9, 2006 CE

    IMHO, …

    In short, hats off to Director Anthony D’Amato. Well, done young man. And how lucky you must feel to have scored such an attractive and talented cast, … an attractive and talented “Tribe.” I intend to see Phoenix HAiR again, and, yes, it passed muster, so indeed I would recommend this HAiR to others. These guys, they give good HAiR.

    Now, it’s 3:05 in the AM as I type, post-HAiR-opening-night, so, I’m making this brief (so I can crash, contentedly). My Red Bank HAiR experience I’d describe as, well, a joy.

    And, get this, I realize I’ve met this guy, the director, this Anthony D’Amato before. Saw him in the Rocky Horror Show, Fast Lanes, Asbury Park. Afterwards, we talked about HAiR! I’m proud of the work of this local boy in creating such quality HAiR as I had the privilege to witness this evening just past.

    And yadda, yadda, yadda, … (You get the point). Main thing is, I liked the show. I give a thumb up! As an American Studies academic project, yeah, I’d give ‘em an “A” (not an “A+,” mind you, but an “A,” all the same. I’m going to see more of their staging before their run ends. I have a hunch they will approach that “A+.” I wish them well. Break a leg! Peace (and all that jazz : ), –Tioga (Lee Joseph deTioga Livingstone Smith, aka Tioga Joe, Washitaw Tribe HAiR, Northeast Louisiana, 1974, and “Cyber Tribe” since, what, 1997 … -ish? [ … and yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, and so what?] )


    Okay, he’s getting cranky. He needs to go to bed and go to sleep. Hell, it’s 3:35! Sun’s comin’ up soon. In the meantime, “Look at the moon! Look at the moon!”

    Later, Dudes and Dudettes,




    Dear Michael [Butler] (et al.),

    I second your e-motion [re D’Amato’s Red Bank HAIR].

    And what a treat it was for me to have been included in the party that included our Jim Rado, “Little Birdie” Nina and Trevor and their wonderful Annie, and beautiful Natasha, dear Robert, sweet Debbie, and the magnificent Mike of the Blaxillville Mikes (or something like that ! ; ), and our dear Angel, the Silver Indian himself, you, my Mister Butler, our dear Michael.

    [okay, okay, enough with the ass kissing, Joe, get on with your point!]

    So, I saw the show again this afternoon (Sunday, September 10, at 3PM). Like that home-cooked dish that tastes better the second day after it’s been reheated, Mr. D’Amato’s HAIR was better the second time ’round. I’ve a sneaking suspicion, it will only continue to get better with each staging.

    But that brings up the sad note that you mentioned, Michael, your regret that this HAIR has only one more week to run. …

    Anthony D’Amato, more than just an able artistic director, IMHO, he GETS HAIR. He groks HAIR [refer to Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” if you’re unfamiliar with the term “grok”]. He’s the kind of young director HAIR needs, if we’re looking for assurance that the essentials of HAIR (according to our HAIR-Head tastes) will continue through successive generations. I nominate Anthony to no less than the rank (should there be one) of HAIR Head (’cause he’s got one good head for HAIR (again, IMHO).

    Sorry. Got off on a tangent. I was referring to the regret of the short planned run. I’ve got another title for Anthony — Pusher. And the song was right: “God damn the Pusher Man.” Anthony slips me a little sample of his product, and … BAM! I’m hooked. Gotta come in for another fix. I’d not be surprised to find I’ll be submitting commentary for each of the remaining 3 shows. But it’s going to hurt so much, thanks for his hooking me, when this show ends and will be seen no more. You get me used to this fix, and then, what do you do? Please, please, please, “don’t Bogart that joint, my friend.”

    This is a HAIR I can live with (good thing it’s so close to my Jersey Shore home!).

    Okay, sorry to make this diatribe any longer, but I would like to share with you a beautiful moment I spied in this afternoon’s HAIR at the Count Basie Theatre. It happens during “Frank Mills.”

    I’m seated 2nd row from the stage, 2nd seat from the end, at the audience’s far right, or at the down stage corner of stage left. The beautiful (and I mean like Ann Margaret in her heyday beautiful) Kristin Contrino, playing the beautiful “Chrissy,” was singing (quite ably, I might add) “Frank Mills” from the opposite side of the stage from me (stage right), as far downstage as possible. I’m looking over at her, digging her rendition of a HAIR song near and dear to my heart, and I notice something behind her. In the wings (I’ve a clear shot from my location through the wings, stage right), …

    I witnessed a dance.
    A most beautiful dance.
    A couple.
    Young man.
    Young woman.
    Making the Astaires proud.
    A couples interpretive dance they danced
    (like making love
    (to the music!)

    And I realized
    They were not onstage
    (IMHO, they should have been! It was a wonderful complement to that beautiful little song!) –
    I had witnessed a rather
    Between two Tribe members
    Grooving to the Muse.

    And, later, I learned from Anthony that he purposefully left the wings open to view, so there COULD be such “stolen moments,” such impromptu HAIR-ish happenings, just for sitters sitting in just the right seats (as was mine this afternoon). My compliments to the man. Good call. Good call. It worked for me!



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