New production of HAIR comes to Sydney Opera House

HAIR Paulini and Hugh SheridanA brand new Australian production of the much-loved rock musical HAIR will come alive in the Concert Hall – Sydney Opera House from 3 – 6 October as part of a national tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show’s Australian premiere.

“Building on the remarkable success of In the Heights last summer, we are thrilled to present this daring revival of HAIR in Sydney Opera House’s prestigious Concert Hall,” said Sydney Opera House, Head of Contemporary Performance Olivia Ansell.

“This much loved revolutionary rock musical with an infectious score, was a liberating discovery for Sydney-siders in 1969. Fifty years on, countless generations keep championing not just the show, but the movement that inspired it.”

Set in the turbulent and idealistic 1960s, at a time when faith in the establishment and the social status quo were shaken and there was widespread resistance to the Vietnam War, HAIR’s inspiring themes of identity, community, global responsibility and peace continue to resonate, examining what it means to be a young person in a changing world.

Marking a moment of cultural transformation and a joyful celebration of 1960s counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, radical glory, HAIR’s Grammy Award-winning soundtrack includes infectious hit songs such as Aquarius, Good Morning, Starshine, Hair, I Got Life and Let The Sunshine In.

Fifty years ago, the original Australian production of HAIR was produced by a then young maverick Harry M. Miller and directed by Jim Sharman. It ran for two years at the Metro Theatre in Kings Cross to sell-out crowds, controversy and rave reviews, kick-starting the careers of many of Australia’s most prolific performers including Reg Livermore, John Waters and Marcia Hines.

Leading the cast in this new production of HAIR is award-winning TV and theatre star Hugh Sheridan (Packed to the Rafters) in the role of Berger and powerhouse vocalist Paulini as Dionne. Sheridan’s one man show, Newly Discovered, sold out Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2009 and, in 2012, he starred alongside Geoffrey Rush and Magda Szubanski in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Paulini is one of 10 Australian female solo artists to have a #1 album in the ARIA Charts and her critically acclaimed performance as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard (2017) has cemented her as one of Australia’s most exciting rising stars.

With book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragini, and music by Galt McDermott, HAIR will be produced by David M. Hawkins and directed by Declan Greene. The show brings together a talented local creative team with Set Design by Michael-Scott Mitchell, Choreography by Amy Campbell, Musical Direction by Glenn Moorhouse and Costume Design by James Browne.

“After seeing the 2009 Broadway revival of HAIR, I’ve wanted to bring the American Tribal Love Rock Musical back to Australia,” said Producer David M. Hawkins. “It seemed fitting to wait for the 50th Anniversary to create a brand new production to tour Australia that’s imbued with the essence of the counter-culture.”

“And there is no one better to bring it to the stage in 2019 than one of Australia’s most exciting young theatre makers Declan Greene, with his roots firmly placed in our counter-culture, just of another generation. There are a handful of commercial musicals that have truly changed the theatrical landscape and brought new people to the theatre.”

HAIR, with its rock score and social impact, certainly fits the bill. I think it is important this show is staged now; HAIR is a great reminder of how far we have come in many ways and also how much we still have to do. It’s frightening how relevant some themes still are 50 years on, so Let The Sunshine In – the tribe is once again assembling!”

HAIR plays at the Sydney Opera House from 3 – 6 October 2019. For more information, visit: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

HAIR also plays His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth (22 August – 1 September); Geelong Performing Arts Centre (4 – 8 September); The Art House, Wyong (19 – 21 September); Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong (25 – 29 September); and Home of the Arts, Gold Coast (11 & 12 October). For more information, visit: www.hairthemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Paulini and Hugh Sheridan to star in HAIR (supplied)

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