My hair is perfectly in style for the Rapunzel look-alike
contest that is the musical "Hair." At first, I couldn't
afford a haircut. Now, I'm just indecisive. In any case, I'm
on top of 1960s hippie fashion. "Hair" makes the mullet
look like a mild outgrowth of our political
past (so does mine): Find Abie Baby
(formerly known as Abraham Lincoln),
John Wilkes Booth, Ulysses S. Grant,
Calvin Coolidge, Scarlett O'Hara,
Supremes-posers, he-she's, men dressed
as gorillas, nuns, monks and Shakespeare
running amok, under the influence of
lyric use of pot (not to mention that
man's real contribution to science here is
a walk on a hash-covered moon).
Speaking of drugs, free love is truly
given out freely, and for medicinal purposes.
Banging pots and sticks, these
peace-loving freewheeling tribal members
point to a hole in the national bucket, with "there's
a hole in the flag." They usher in the "Age of
Aquarius/Psychedelic Ice age" by debunking political
mythology and decadence. Protesting Institutions, the
hippies burn draft cards (or, uh, library cards), in the
name of Flower Power and the groovy revolution.
With an absurdly poignant plot, the tribe ridicules a
national lifestyle that refers to a standardized exam for A.
Work Ethic, B. American Values, and C. other social fixtures.
When "Hair" was first performed in 1967, it
shocked audiences by baring all, literally, with controversial
As is tradition for the musical, "Hair" cast members in
this production chose a tribal name for themselves. In
this case, Sean Michael Dooley, who plays the 18-year-old
Berger, had a little trouble remembering the mouthful
"Anapo Agape," which is a hybrid of Native American
and Latin (or perhaps Greek? he pondered?) ideals that
harkens the dawn of unconditional love. The name was a
democratic decision and, afterwards, the tribe reflected
on what "Hair" meant to them. They did trust exercises
and other community-building activities to create an
intimate rapport on and off stage.
For his part, Dooley researched the musical's setting,
1960s Greenwich Village. He also dug out musty yearbooks
that pictured his 18-year-old self and tried to
invoke the spirits of things that made him uptight, embarrassed
or gleeful. True to the show's ultimate mission
(beyond irreverence and smart navet), an inspired
Dooley said he's been apathetic to social and political
change - the radical "Hair" caused him to rethink how
he might respond to justice/injustice.
"These people were capable of making a positive
change. It made me think I should emulate these young
people and help make a better world. Hopefully, the
show will incite that in people who come to see it.
That's what it set out to do," he said.
'Bout time I get a trim, too.
_ Tuesday-Sunday, July 8-Aug. 1, various times.
Historic Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave. S.
'The Cult of Dorian Gray II'
"The Cult of Dorian Gray II" spoofs occupational
hazards. The corporate workplace is a corrupt stage -
with an in-closet CEO who, instead of handshakes, uses
sexual harassment as currency. And it's no secret that the
voluptuous secretary gets plastic surgery on the company
Meantime, middle management fight their way up the
corporate summit with underhanded tactics (it's staff
gone wild!). And the computer guy, well,
as they say, spots a conflict of interests on
"both platforms," according to the press
This is what choreographer Gerry
Girouard gets when he muses over Oscar
Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and
Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities."
But that's not all. Sounding a bit like a
horror movie gone wrong, this production
is actually an acrobatic/dance/athletic-
thon (just when you thought it sounded
The dramatic employee troupe revises
Dorian Gray's life and the dangers of vanity
by treading lightly on large Plexiglass walls and flinging
briefcases as they pursue star status at the ad agency.
Seduction and betrayal is illustrated through tangos,
duels, the Brazilian martial art Capoeira, break-dance
and street basketball. Video projections dress up walls,
thighs and bellies while the electronica plays on, building
up the tempo to punctuate the soap operatic actions of
those relentless seekers of money, class and eternal life
- to the death.
Would Wilde and Wolfe approve of this sequel? I think so.
_ July 8-25, Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Red Eye
Theater, 15 W. 14th St. $15. 870-0309.
Barb Janisch's paintings, called "Reaching," reenact
the salty wind and refreshing ocean spritzers of a happygo-
lucky boat ride. She takes us on an affordable vacation
to a "Sloop Off Saba," among other aquatic havens,
cruising through intense summer heat (it's a hard life, in
paradise). In soft but bright colors she depicts the
rhythm of a gently lifting sloop sail.
Experience the marine wildlife, other boats and the
surrounding mainland when Janisch is your tour guide.
Feel the wind whipping your tanned face?