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A crowd of about 15,000 persons jammed the bandshell area of Central Park yesterday for a slightly tardy celebration of the fourth anniversary of the Broadway opening of hair. They were treated to a free rock-folk-soul-jazz-Latin-blues concert by members of domestic and overseas Hair companies.
A predominantly hirsute throng of mostly young people filled the benches, climbed onto the limbs of trees, sat among the bushes on the slope behind the shell, stood on the pavement, crowded the top of a parked truck or found perches on stone fences and monuments.
The 90-minute concert opened with a slow rock and soul rendering of the National Anthem, swung quickly into a musical announcement of the dawning of the "Age Of Aquarius" and followed through with a choral and solo "Lord's Prayer" giving the crowd patriotism, amateur astrology and religion in quick succession. It was, from every standpoint, an eclectic occasion.
Members of hair tribes, as they are called, from London, Toronto, Tokyo, Israel, and Broadway did songs from the musical and specialty numbers. It was not a performance that had to worry about being drowned out by the drone of frequent jets overhead. It created its own zone of aural dominance, and it is doubtful that heavy artillery could have overwhelmed it.
Hair, one of the nation's most persistent cultural exports, has been seen in 22 nations and heard in 14 languages since it opened on Broadway on April 29, 1968, at the Biltmore Theatre. Dozens of orange Frisbees sailed through the air at the close of the program to the throbbing finale, "Let The Sun Shine In".
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