Hair, a self-labled "rock musical," has finally found a home on Broadway. In its travels from the Public Theater in the East Village, where it set up shop last October, to the Cheetah, a mid-town discotheque, to the Baltimore (sic) Theatre, where it opened Monday (29). Hair has been dressed up in spots and undressed in total, for its first act finale. The dressing and undressing still don't keep it from being a frenetic and aimless portrayal of the hippie time.
Flowers, four-letter words, freedom and antic fun are in abundance in the sings and in the book but the form is shapeless and the tone is frenzied. It's a step into a new Broadway musical form but it doesn't have a form of its own. It's as sprawling as a youthful spring gambol through Central Park's Sheep Meadow. There should be an audience for the shock-rock of it all but it will be an uphill fight for a complete box-office sweep.
The musica by Galt MacDermot and the lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado break out of a routine rock pattern on several ocassions and bring contemporary musical life to the BRoadway stage. The title song, "Frank Mills" and "Where Do I Go" are some of the standout numbers. The cast, keyed up byTom O'Horgan's electric direction, is caught up in the spirit of the frolic and the young players throw themselves into the song and dance with abandon but there's more spark than light.
RCA Records, working on the premise that an "original Broadway cast album" imprimature will have more sales value than its original off-Broadway recording of Hair, is putting the new production into the groove this week.