Hair, the “tribal love/rock musical” that paved the way for all the rock musicals, wonderful and dreadful, that followed it onto Broadway, is marking its 50th anniversary this year. Is a new generation ready to embrace it as their own? Tad Richards, artistic director at Opus 40 in Saugerties, thinks that they might be. He has invited New Jersey’s Centenary Stage Company to mount a new production this Sunday at the bluestone sculpture park in Saugerties this Sunday afternoon. “The natural splendor of Opus 40 is an ideal setting for the life-affirming energy of Hair, and we think this is a match made in heaven,” says Richards.
Indeed, it’s difficult to think of a stage hereabouts that would feel more “organic” for the 1968 musical, written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, with music by Galt MacDermot. Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, Hair remains as relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world. Songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Hair,” “I Got Life” and “Let the Sun Shine In” can still warm the countercultural cockles of your heart.
The Centenary Stage Company’s production of Hair at Opus 40 takes place on Sunday, July 29 at 1 p.m. Bring a picnic and enjoy this stunning, one-of-a-kind site. Tickets cost $30 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.opus40.org. For more on the troupe, visit www.centenarystageco.org. Opus 40 is located at 50 Fite Road in the High Woods neighborhood of western Saugerties.