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Good Morning Starshine

In 1968 the Flower Children even reached up from the Village to Broadway.

The name of the show was "Hair" and it was billed as the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, it ran for more than four years and it made producer Michael Butler very rich indeed. It introduced wealthy matinee ladies to the 1967 Summer of Love folks, a year before Woodstock.

Among the features were this dude dressed mostly like a gorilla who swung from the end of a long rope suspended from the house ceiling, over the heads of the ladies; he would swoop down, making strange jungle noises, and try to snatch up a fur piece here and there, pretending it's lunch.

Then, onstage there was this giant inflatable penis, flanked by a pair of suitable inflated balloons: the cast, nude, ran down through the penis and lined up at the edge of the stage and sang at the top of their nude lungs. Diane Keaton, who went on to become one of our famous American actresses, played one of the leads and was also famous because she refused to take off her clothes inside the penis.

Theatre historians note that you couldn't see much of the actors' assets at all, even with your opera glasses, because the edge of the stage was kept unlighted and inky black. But the word is that you paid a bit more to sit in the first rows....

We lighting designers are not God but maybe we sit next to Saint Peter :)

This Thursday it's 2008, and a major revival opens again on Broadway. We'll see how they stage it this time. Again, it's the antiwar theme, this time it's Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, standing in for Vietnam. Also drugs, far more than there were in '68, far more users, far more designer drugs. Also nudity has become bread and butter, at least on the Internet, which was still far in the future from the sixties.

But the song still resonates:

"LBJ took the IRT
Down to Fourth Street, USA;
When he got there, what did he see?
The Youth of America on LSD!
LSD, you and me,
CIA, FBI, you and me,
LSD, LLL ... BBB...JJJ !!"

LBJ was Mr. Johnson, our miserable prez after John F Kennedy; the IRT Interborough Rapid Transit subway trains do not exist anymore, their names are now numbers; Fourth Street was where Robert Zimmerman hung out and played in clubs, you know him better as Bob Dylan [still very much there, some of my fave theatres line it;] LSD is LySergic acid Diethylamide, a strong and sometimes fatal hallucinogen, which today has many more cousins....stronger and more lethal. And the other initials are obvious.

But everybody is young always ---- and they sing about Hair and about their bodyparts and about LIFE in capital letters, just like they do now. At least I do.

The bigger triumph was the 1979 film by the Czech director Milos Forman, choreography by Twyla Tharp, career-breakthrough perfs by Treat Williams and John Savage and a pair of police horses who dance for you. In step, too. Go rent this. You won't be sorry. It's about motherhood and apple pie, too. And dancing down atop a big banquet table. While the banquet is still on it.

One of the dance sequences is filmed in a part of Central Park where the girls swirl all about like leaves, it's unforgettable. There's nude swimming, too, which wasn't done onstage [at least then, maybe this week!]

And the title up there is from one of the other famous songs.

Good morning, Starshine.

I got LIFE !!!

Just like you.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
"Business in ...town, it's a dirty little war. 3-5-0-0. And...begin to kill..."


Now I have to download the soundtrack to Hair and listen to it. :)
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:16 am (UTC)
O Meow...*sobs* ... sorry to make you go through all that trouble, what a burden! :P :P

Better you should download the music than upload your pipe?

Well, that's just me. "You and me, IRT ..."

GAAAH I miss NY. And I'm so close. Tomorrow is opening night sellout, no doubt. Was just in Borders for a meetup with Tori Amos yesterday, should have looked up the moooooovie!!


There are lots worse times than The Age Of Aquarius.
Aug. 6th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
I know. But we do what we must. *giggles*

Tori Amos? What meetup? So jealous!!!!! I love "Silent All These Years" especially. :)

Indeed! :)
Aug. 6th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
No, unfortunately, it was just a meetup over the Borders cash registers. But "Pretty Good Year" and "Cornflake Girl" came right back from memory when I listened, and I posted about that; and she played West Palm Beach in 03 and made a DVD of it, "Welcome to Sunny Florida" -- from the postcard titles --- will be playing that tonight.

"This is the dawning of ...." "Harmony and understanding ..."

Alas we have a ways still to go.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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