Hippies are taking over the Geva Theatre stage to start the new season.
Performances of the classic musical “Hair” continue through October 7 in Rochester.
Michael Burrell, who plays Claude, and Kevin Curtis, an ensemble member and Dance Captain, discussed the high energy show Friday during News 8 at Noon.
“Spoiler alert, we come out a little early, so don’t be startled when there’s a hippie like all up in your face before the show,” said Curtis. “It’s very high energy. It’s definitely a party. It’s a lot of social dance from the sixties, you know a lot of just shaking and bopping and walking your hair around!”
Through Claude, Burrell takes us into the heart of the musical story. “A line in the show says he’s just the purest mind on Avenue B and it’s true,” he said of his character. “He’s just such a pure heart, pure mind person and it’s a lot of fun to bring that into the show with all of these crazy, zany characters that are all driven from the heart.”
Burrell added, “It’s so nostalgic for people that grew up in this era. They were teenagers. They know this. They were around during all of this, as well as people that are teenagers now, it’s still just as relevant today. You see yourself on stage through different characters and you’re just like – wow – this is so moving and so wonderful.”
There’s a great Rochester connection here as well. James Rado, the Rochester Music Hall of Famer, helped create ‘Hair’ back in the 1960’s. The themes explored back then, still resonate for audiences today. “I hope they make the connection of how relevant ‘Hair’ is today, because I think that with a lot of things that are going on today, a lot of the movements – Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Occupy – it mirrors a lot of the things that we’re talking about in the show,” Curtis said.
Burrell hopes the spirit of the show is welcoming. “It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, whoever comes into the theatre. We want them to feel welcome, to feel loved. It’s a safe space and we want to just share that with everyone so that they feel that they can take that out with them into the world.”
For tickets and more information about “Hair” call (585) 232-GEVA or go online to GevaTheatre.org.