Produced by the Ohio State Department of Theater at the Southern Theater
Guest Director: Steven C. Anderson

After all these years, HAIR is still a force of nature...and a theatrical delight.

The iconic sixties musical is at the Southern Theater for the weekend and it should not be missed. A bright, lively group of very talented OSU students has rendered the show in exactly the spirit it was meant---young, irreverent, fun...and poignant.

It's easy to forget amongst the monumental songs like "Age of Aquarius" and "Let the Sun Shine" that this play is about a good young guy confronting the draft for the Vietnam War---and losing. The play is given its spiritual depth by the memory of the lethal, useless stupidity that was the slaughter in Southeast Asia.

Indeed, HAIR is more than just fun and games. It reminds us that a brilliant generation, endowed with a unique genius, was swallowed by a ghastly error for which we still pay---and which is now being repeated in Iraq.

The Southern is a beautiful spot for this show. Its intimacy enables us to be up close with the tie-dyed youngsters who are so in love with life and each other. Liam Cronin, Jessica Podewell and the rest of the OSU students who make this show happen are bright, attractive and capable. We envy the joy and ease with which they bring this pop masterpiece to life.

The stage set is also lovely and imaginative, a source of fascination for both my fifteen-year-old daughter and her seven-year-old sibling, who continually asked if she could "go slide down the chute."

The evening's only negative note is in the volume levels put out by the accompanying rock band. The five local musicians led by Theo Jackson on keys and trumpet do a fine job. But their positioning and the Southern's acoustics demand some serious muting if the voices from the stage are to be clearly heard. A few downward twists on the amp dials and some muffles on the drums might help.

But otherwise, this earnest, astute rendering reminds us that HAIR is indeed a national treasure. It is a truly wonderful piece of sixties memorabilia, timeless social commentary and extraordinary music. The Southern show lives up to its billing. Thank you Steven C. Anderson for directing these talented students for this fitting rendition of an American icon that deserves to live forever.