Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hair at BPA

Last weekend I had the honor of checking out the BPA (Bainbridge Performing arts) production of Hair. To say that the production was amazing is a complete understatement.   I felt fully immersed right as I walked into the building itself. My heart was so happy with all of the hippies that were everywhere! The cast photos staring out at me as I was waiting to get into our seats.  Keeping with the theme, and keeping us entertained at the bar/concession area  with the Themed drinks! I had the Peace drink, with an amazing pear taste to it. We were also welcomed to put on temporary tattoos so we could get a little into character as well. I had my close friend Alysa with me, knowing that she is a hippie at heart I knew that she would love the chance to see the talented actors putting on this production for Hair! 
For those of you that have been living under a rock and have no idea what Hair is about....especially the 12 year old boy and his parents that were sitting behind me and made their shock well known in the opening act! Here is what the short summary of what its all about...Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active hippies living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against being drafted into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and the conservative society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or to give into the pressures of his parents who are the faces of conservative America to serve in Vietnam, compromising his peaceful principles and risking his own life. THERE IS SEX, DRUGS, RACIST COMMENTS, NUDITY.....IN THIS PERFORMANCE!!!  
A talented cast that can rival Broadway puts it own spin on Hair as they interpret it and makes it come alive on the beautiful stage of the BPA theater.  Josh Anderson provides musical direction. Noah Duffy handles the choreography, both were able to transport you right to the 60's. 
Right out of the gate Olivia Lee who plays Ronny/ The dance Captain, captivated me as she bared it all in the opening, singing her heart out to Aquarius.  I know I wasn't the only one that was completely under her spell, the entire night I kept watching for her and seeking her out in the scenes. Never disappointing me she was able to mesmerize all of us with her amazing dance moves and singing. 
 Another star of the show was Ted Dowling as Berger threw himself into his part so well that I forgot that he was acting. His humor and on point performance of him dropping his pants in multiple scenes laughing and keeping the punch line in order, he also very much touched me with his performance as he played with the lead of the show Jesse Smith who played Claude. Together they stop at nothing short of showing us all their passion for acting and being part of this movement. The feelings were so raw and when Berger goes crazy over a Orange Sears shirt that Sheila played by the amazing actress Alison Monda you felt like you could relate as you remembered back to your first love and the end when it hit the breaking point.  Sheila was gripping as she poured her love for Berger and the hurt of his rejection out in the song Easy to be hard. The entire audience was silent in that very moment. 
My all time favorite part of the show was the outstanding performance of Michelle Lorenz Odell as she played the part of both Dionne and in this part she was playing the sweet lady Margaret Mead. In this scene she brought the humor and she commanded your attention as she belted out her first note until the last. Showing us her chops she used to get her vocal performance degree! My favorite part of the night was when she showed us what she had under that big coat! Oh and that giggle!!!! 
In watching this amazing performance play out right before my eyes, I was able to look around the room and think of how this musical was touching all the people around me. The couple to my left sat with tear stains on their cheeks during the scene of the war time. The mom's in front of me having a mom's night out when the song "Hair" was sang by the tribe they were all singing and dancing in their seats as they got carried away into the vibe.  The shocked sounds, gasps, and giggles from the crowd when the "tribe" all got naked in another epic scene. One scene a man who I know and love got chocked up by looking at his beautiful wife perform and sing a solo on stage. 
At the end of the evening, they closed with the song Let the Sunshine in.  The tears were not an act or fake at all, It was moving and beautiful and I sat there with the "tribe" I took a moment through my tear filled eyes looking around at the people around me and wondered how they were touched? If they were there or if they knew people that had lost their lives in Vietnam? Were they protestors? How were they touched by this? 
As Alysa and I drove home that night we talked about what we saw, how it made us feel and what we both thought of it.  I hope that the cast reads this and know just how many people that they have touched and most importantly made us talk. 

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