1960s Musical Resonates
In A New Century
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Feb. 15, 2018 — In October 1967, the musical Hair first opened off-Broadway in New York City’s East Village. Conceived by actors James Rado and Gerome Ragni, it was the perfect production for a flower child era.
The plot involves a group of politically active hippies of the “Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and resisting being sent to Vietnam to fight in an unpopular war.
Featuring then-daring profanity and a nude scene, Hair broke ground by defining the rock musical genre, using a racially integrated cast and inviting the audience onstage for a “be-in” finale.
After that first run of success, the production moved to Broadway, gaining even popularity and Tony nominations before closing in 1972.
Hair also spawned numerous hits on the Billboard pop charts, including the Grammy-winning "The Age of Aquarius” by the Fifth Dimension, Good Morning Starshine by Oliver and the title track by The Cowsills. It was also made into a well-received film in 1979.
A half-century later this musical endures, as its themes of resistance, war and peace resonate in new turbulent political era.
Arizona residents can “let the sunshine in” with a new version running Feb. 23 through March 25 at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. For ticket prices or other details visit http://azbroadway.org/event/hair/ or call 623-776-8400.
Thursday, Feb. 15
Acclaimed playwright John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar will run through March 4 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. The comedic play focuses on two struggling misfits at the cusp of 40 in rural Ireland. Showtimes vary, and tickets start at $25. For more details, go to http://www.arizonatheatre.org/show/outside-mullingar/
If the (glass) shoe fits … Ballet Arizona is presenting Cinderella through Feb. 18 at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $56, and showtimes vary. For more details, check out http://balletaz.org/performance/cinderella-2018/
Friday, Feb. 16
Based on the 2005 film, the musical version Kinky Boots about a who bonds with an unlikely ally to save his British shoe factory. The Theater League presentation is playing through Feb. 18 at The Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. For ticket prices or other info, visit https://phoenix.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=362
The band’s name is We Banjo 3, but there are four members who play a variety of string instruments. They’ll perform at 7:30 p.m. at The Musical Instrument Museum, with Scottish bank Talisk as the opening act. Admission is $38.50 to $43.50. To learn more, go to https://mim.org/
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will hold its Spring Opening Celebration from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A diverse range of artists from nations such as Mexico and Canada will be featured. Admission is free. The museum is located at 7374 E. Second St. For more information, check out https://smoca.org/
Sunday, Feb. 18
Americana artists Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, who played with Levon Helm and other prominent musicians, will perform at 7 p.m. at The Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Tickets start at $35.50. Learn more at https://mim.org/events/larry-campbell-and-teresa-williams/
Thursday, Feb. 22
Nearly 45 years after they took the mainstream rock world by storm, Styx is still at it. They’ll play the Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $50; showtime is 7:30 p.m. For more details, check out https://celebritytheatre.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1890
A screwball comedy of mistaken identity, Lend Me A Tenor will play through Feb. 25 at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd St., Phoenix. For showtimes, ticket prices or other info, visit https://phoenixcenterforthearts.org/events/lend-me-a-tenor-2018/
Friday, Feb. 23
Massachusetts reggae band Dubbest will play at Last Exit Live, 717 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. Pride Through Strife and Clint Stevens will serve as opening acts. Admission ranges from $7 to $10. The show starts at 9 p.m. For more information, go to https://www.lastexitlive.com/event/1623704-dubbest-phoenix
Saturday, Feb. 24
The host of Real Time may be many things, but boring isn’t one of them. In An Evening With Bill Maher, the popular and controversial comedian will no doubt opine on many political topics. He’ll be on stage at the Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $41; to purchase one or for other info, check out http://www.comericatheatre.com/EventDetail?tmeventid=1900532ED50B3360&offerid=54935
Known for her role on the NBC series Smash, acclaimed singer Megan Hilty will perform at 8 p.m. in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Theater for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Seth Rudetsky will serve as pianist and host. Admission starts at $59. For more details, go to https://scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/broadway-megan-hilty/
Sunday, Feb. 25
If a band is named Marmalade Skies, chances are they play Beatles tunes — but there are seven members in this tribute band, not four. They’ll perform at 4 p.m. at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Admission is $15. Learn more details at https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1614656-marmalade-skies-phoenix/
Considered one of the most influential and best rock singers of all time, Robert Plant — accompanied by The Sensational Space Shifters — will perform at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. After Led Zeppelin quit recording in 1980, Plant went to release a series of acclaimed and successful albums; his latest is Carry Fire. Seth Lakeman will serve as the opening act. To learn more, go to https://www.phoenixconventioncenter.com/events?eventID=21550&funcID=5
Tuesday, Feb. 27
Fiercely loved for their irreverent take on pop music, They Might Be Giants will perform at 8 p.m. at The Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave, Tempe. Tickets start at $25. For more details, check outhttps://www.luckymanonline.com/event/7822125/they-might-be-giants/
Thursday, March 1
The ASU Chamber Orchestra with the Gospel Choir will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gammage in Tempe. Admission is $7. For more details, go to https://www.asugammage.com/shows-events/beethoven-symphony-no-5
In support of her Beautiful Trauma tour, pop superstar Pink will take the stage at Talking Stick Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., with tickets starting at $102. Visit http://www.talkingstickresortarena.com/events/detail/pink-1 for more info.
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