Great production at Fullerton last night…

I wanted to be the first to post here that the Fullerton production, at least in my opinion, was in most respects, from my perspective, a terrific production.  Unlike many on the archives and the blog, I have not had the privilege of seeing some of the productions that most people consider “definitive” (such as the Cal State Fullerton production, or the Candlefish production), other than the original Broadway and Aquarius theater productions back in the late 60s and early 70s, which are of course, truly “definitive”. It stayed very close to the narrative in the original script, and didn’t try to introduce any strange updates or directorial “innovations” (like the NYU “THX1138” production). It took the show quite sincerely, I thought, and for a college production, I felt it was worth WAY more than the $15 top they were charging for a ticket.

The tribe was very large (45 people) and it seemed like more at times. The stage is cavernous yet they filled it admirably at most times. The vocals were quite good and tight (barring some problems they had with the sound system) and in some cases even better than the original OBC recording. I thought the choreography was remarkable and way better than any production I have seen since the Broadway shows (again, though, I have limited experience there 🙂 ) Berger, Claude and Woof were all wonderful and the rest of the leads made a great effort to keep up.Â

A few twists that director Gary Krinke added that I really enjoyed were the three principals walking on leg extensions in black robes and mortarboards, making them tower over Berger by several feet; moving Don’t Put It Down to just before the George Washington scene in “the trip” in Act 2 (which I had seen done before, and indeed, we did it in Santa Cruz in 2002 that way), but even better, cutting it into three sections and interspersing it throughout the early part of the trip. And I loved the way he did the movie scene in Act 1 with Sheila and Claude shadowing two “puppet performers” (almost like Billy Flynn in Chicago did with Roxie Hart). That can be a hard scene to do and I thought his approach was innovative. Â

I had some issues with some of the changes Gary made to the production though, in particular the elimination of Good Morning, Starshine, which has always been a signature song in the show for me, as well as his decision to do the ending in a mournful way without any catharsis either in the form of a curtain call (something that as a director, I do not like to do to performers who have just worked their asses off for the audience for almost 3 hours, not to mention umpteen weeks of rehearsals, and particularly in Hair!) or a reprise of Let The Sun Shine In which is the typical way of bringing the audience into the finale of the production. I felt that after such a wonderful show, we needed to be able to show our appreciation to him and his tribe, and instead, we left (or at least I left) the theater feeling incomplete. Sigh…

However, on the whole, big kudos to their production and the Jaureno tribe for a fantastic effort. I hope my production in San Jose comes close to that standard (although it will clearly be a very different show, given that our tribe will be about 1/3 of the size and the theaters will be less than 1/5 of the size. But that is one of the things that I think makes Hair a true experience each time I see it.Â

After the show, it was delightful to meet Michael for the first time (after several wonderful email exchanges) and also a whole slew of Hair people (Danielle Bisutti , Bo Crowell and his wife Dawn, JohnZ and his wife Hebe). I also got to hang out with Tom “Patrick” Proprofsky who played Berger in this show (and as I found out, many other notable productions), along with JohnZ and Hebe, discussing all sorts of Hair things which will be taken into the process for our tribe in San Jose. Thanks Michael, and Tom, for making last night really special.

Peace all,

Jon “bleurose” Rosen
Stagelight Productions

PS – We have announced our auditions for the San Jose production (April 1-5) and you can check it out at If you are in the area, please come and try out, or help out, or just drop by and say “Om” 🙂



This entry was posted on Saturday, March 10th, 2007 at 12:43 PM and filed under Uncategorized. Follow comments here with the RSS 2.0 feed. Skip to the end and leave a response. Trackbacks are closed.

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