Monday, March 9, 2009
Play Review: Hair
Yesterday, my family went to see Hair the musical on Broadway, not to be confirmed with Hairspray, the other musical on Broadway. Hair is the one where people are hippies, and Hairspray is the one where people are fat and do the twist. In any event, I had never seen Hair before, but I went in with as open a mind as I could which is saying a lot, considering that it was a) a musical not named Les Miserables and b) it was a musical.
The show was fine, meaning I thought the acting and singing weregood despite the corny nature of the entire situation, but the main problem with the show was that the actors KEPT ON COMING INTO THE AUDIENCE and singing and touching people. They entered the audience at least seven times and were looking at people there and made jokes about people sitting in the front row. This resulted in me having a goddamn panic attack the entire time that someone was going to come near me or touch me while singing, but thankfully I was sitting in the middle of the row and therefore relatively safe from having to be touched or looked at by an actor, because if I had been sitting on the aisle like my dad and someone in a '70s costume so much as looked at me, I would have immediately slit my wrists with the playbill and then shot myself.
I'm sorry but the WHOLE POINT of plays is that the actors are supposed to remain on the stage, and you're supposed to be in the audience making snide remarks about the show, and the two are not supposed to acknowledge each other until the bows at the end. Here, it was like they were trying to involve the audience IN the play so I was spent the entire time terrified of checking my blackberry for fear that some actor would see me doing it and make a scene. The worst part was at the end, when they're doing like an extended megamix of the song "Hair," the actors actually GO INTO THE ORCHESTRA AND PULL THE FIRST TEN ROWS OF PEOPLE ON STAGE TO DANCE. In fact, my dad saw one of the guys that goes to his gym dancing on stage and suggested we get his autograph.
The point is that when they sell tickets to any show they need to warn people about the danger zones for likely participation. When people fly they have the choice not to sit in the emergency exit seats if they don't feel comfortable being the last ones out of the plane when it crashes, and Broadway needs to get wise to the fact that most theatergoers are VERY UNCOMFORTABLE interacting with people singing in costumes and want to be assured when purchasing tickets they will not be touched or looked at by these people during the show.