Last night Brooke and I went to see Hair on Broadway. My good friend John works for the show's production company and he hooked us up with house seats. In return I plan on hooking him up with some schwag from my office, like toner or some witty repartee. (You're welcome, John!)
Of course, the production was terrific. Top notch acting and singing, dazzling set design, impressive hair. In lots of ways, though, the show seems dated – despite the fact that many of its central themes (war, peace, divisiveness, etc.) are so prevalent today. But to a crowd of people in 2010 watching a bunch of motivated hippies say, "Let's make paint signs and protest the draft!" is kind of confusing. Can’t we just create a Facebook group and promote it on Twitter? And should we re
However – and here's what they don't tell you in the Playbill (rated G for kids)– the show manages to pull it all together with the one central theme that is timeless, compelling, and timelessly compelling: nudity (rated R for thank you). Right at the end of the first act, everyone on stage strips down completely. Zero clothing. Wangs, boobs, junk, hoo-has – it's a veritable sex organ chef salad. I'd read the magazine articles; I knew it was coming. But I don't care who you are: Unless you've been in an orgy or frequent fringe Turkish bathhouses, seeing that many naked people at once is jarring.
Sitting in front of me was the tallest guy in the audience, possibly the world (or so it seemed to me in that moment). I tried to play it cool, like a thirty year-old consenting adult who has seen his fair share of public nudity, but when you're weighing things like "tasteful discretion" versus "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see many attractive women, who were singing and dancing just a few moments ago, completely in the buff," craning your head to the side and maybe even lifting yourself up a bit out of your seat seems like a small price to pay for such an indulgence.
To the director's credit, the scene is staged perfectly. It's not like "NUDITY. (Curtain.)" There's a distinct pause in there, just enough for ones eyes to scan the group, linger when necessary, and come away with a feeling of satisfaction that the amount of nudity you have just absorbed is compelling and impressive without being show off-y. (Note: That "show off-y" part is entirely for the benefit of my generous friend who provided the tickets and the integrity of his impressive production. For my part, I would have worn a monocle – despite sitting in the sixth row – and even if they had performed the entire show buck naked, when it was all over I would still have bought the all-nude calendar and downloaded the Undress the Hair Cast iPhone app.)
So, sex organ chef salad. Mmm. Then comes intermission and Brooke and I don't re
we're she's civilized. About ten minutes later, the lights dim a bit and the music starts up again, and while there's no one on stage yet I look to my left and in the aisle not fifteen feet away is one of the actresses from the show. And not to rank one character above another, but she was definitely the hottest one. And there she is in her crop top and low-cut jeans SLOW DANCING with a 13-year old kid from the audience. She's a solid six inches taller than him, so her hands are on his shoulders and his are on her bare midriff.
Now, let's just stop for a second and consider this. I don't know about everyone else out there, but I didn't see a real live naked girl until I was 16, which I think is pretty fair considering my poor choices in hairdos around that age. Here's this kid though, no older than 13, who moments ago saw not a tot
So there they are, gently swaying back and forth, and I notice that both their mouths are moving. Could they re
Then the music swelled and the cast started filling the stage. Their time was coming to an end; she was being called back to the bright lights. The big city. The two stopped dancing and looked into each other's eyes. Without a moment's hesitation, the actress leaned in and gave the kid a hug. Somehow he wasn't openly weeping with joy at that point, though I practic