According to Arthur Allan Seidelman, director of the latest "Hair" revival, "There has been a resurgence of that which is oppressive and not conducive to free expression," and that as long as President Bush and Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft are running the country, "Hair" is still relevant ("The Peace, Love and Freedom Party," by Patrick Pacheco, June 17).
How tiresome--Republican bad, Democrat good. If Seidelman had checked, he'd know that a lot of the legislation that threatened our free expression over the past decade came from the left. Moreover, many Democrats, including Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman, have suggested ever more imaginative end runs around the 1st Amendment.
Let's not forget that "Hair" was born out of protest against an America run by our most liberal president ever, if Seidelman can wrap his mind around that.
In his excellent cover story, Pacheco notes that "Hair" was the first Broadway show ("and perhaps the last") to have an in-house astrologer who selected the opening dates and assessed the astrological compatibility of the cast members.
He also notes that the show ran for more than 1,700 performances in New York alone and managed a global gross of $80 million ("$800 million in today's dollars").
Hmmmm ... could there be some correlation between the resident astrologer and the $80 mil?
I was delighted to read the article. "Hair's" director, Tom O'Horgan, and composer, Galt MacDermot, teamed up again for one of my favorite movies of the '70s--a movie that has been out of circulation for more than 20 years.
"Rhinoceros," based on the absurdist comedy by Eugene Ionesco, was part of American Express' short-lived American Film Theatre experiment, which produced a handful of amazing (and lost) films based on great plays. It offers a supercharged re-teaming of Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, who lighted up Mel Brooks' original film of "The Producers."