“I believe in love, I believe in love, I believe in love.” – Sheila, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
The 1960s were a hotspot for change in the United States. Civil rights and feminism. Assassinations of great leaders. The Vietnam War, space exploration, and the summer of love in 1967. All these were but a few of the major movements and happenings that helped spur change in this country.
So, it only made sense in 1968 the Broadway musical Hair helped radicalize a generation.
This revolutionary rock musical celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded, and fringed glory. To an infectiously energetic rock beat, the show wows audiences with iconic songs like “Aquarius”, “Good Morning, Starshine”, “Hair”, “I Got Life”, and “Let the Sunshine In”. All helped change pop culture forever.
With its arrival, the musical Hair also brought its fair share of controversy. In Boston, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Tenn, and elsewhere, government officials banned the musical from local stages under the guise of obscenity laws. The Chattanooga ban (1975) led to a major Supreme Court decision, Southeastern Promotions Ltd. v. Conrad, in which the court recognized the First Amendment value of live theater and set strict limits on the power of local governments to prevent theatrical performances.
This December, Alley Repertory Theater is proud to produce Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical in the Treasure Valley. Artistic Director Buffie Main is directing the show, along with John Wicks (The Royale). Darian Reneé will be handling the reins as music director and resident lighting designer Chaz Gentry brings expertise to the spectacular light design. Powerhouses Wendy Fox (Cabaret, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Lisa Lechner (Cabaret) return respectively as costume designer and dance choreographer.
Meet the cast of ‘Hair’
Familiar faces abound in the cast of Hair. And though only a handful are veterans at Alley Repertory Theater, there’s a good chance you may have seen most from the cast performing around the Treasure Valley.
Rachel Fichtman is a recent graduate of Boise State University, appearing in Afflicted: Daughters of Salem and The SpongeBob Musical, to name a few. Fichtman last appeared with Alley Rep in 2021’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical.
Bren Trotter, Kiala Siman, Francisco Negron, and Jada Diaz, will be making their Alley Rep debut. Trotter is a recent graduate of Central Washington University and honed his craft at the Orpheum Theatre in Twin Falls. Siman, Negron, and Diaz have all appeared in productions around the Treasure Valley. In recent years these have included, among other places, Boise Contemporary Theater, Stage Coach Theatre and Boise State University.
Levi Bruner, Mungo Ligoya, and Elke Meyers bring a range of musical and theatrical experience to the production. Bruner is a well-traveled clarinetist and singer. Ligoya carries a passion for dance, a talent for painting, and a knack for making music. And Meyers is a recent graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Jesse Bastian and Carlyn Jones will both be making returns to the Alley Rep stage. In 2011, Bastian played David Sarnoff in The Farnsworth Invention. Jones, with notable recent roles at Stage Coach Theatre (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time) and BLT (The Play That Goes Wrong), last appeared with Alley Rep in The Cake in 2018.
Ky Gathura, Logan Leavitt, and Owen Lowe, too, will be making their first Alley Rep appearance. Gathura has had the privilege of being trained in New York City with the NYC Neo-Futurists under the guidance of The School of New York Times. Leavitt is a writer, director, performer, and musician and Lowe is a performer best known as the burlesque artist Overcast.
Groovy, rockin’ band
Reneé, along with music director duties, is lending talent on the bass and additional vocals. Joining her in the band will be Rhiannon Terry, Andrew Pearson, and Justin Tam. Terry, this time on the keys, returns for her third show with Alley Rep, last appearing in the 2022 production of Cabaret. Pearson returns for his third show as well, handling percussion. And Tam will bring his guitar talent to rock the house for Hair.
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical begins December 8, 2023, with a pay-what-you-want preview. Opening night is Saturday December 9, with performances running through December 23.