Smithsonian Associates Celebrates “HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” With Special Event

April 29, 2024
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Poster with silhouette in blue and red of man with afro, large type font at top spells hair.

Smithsonian Associates will present a celebration of HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. A panel discussion and special performance will take place Thursday, June 20, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET at the National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater at 1300 Constitution Ave. N.W.; the event will be simulcast on Zoom.

More than 50 years after its debut in April 1968 at Broadway’s Biltmore Theatre in New York City, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical, HAIR, continues to celebrate the hippie counterculture of the 1960s. Discussing its ongoing relevance is a panel including theater critic Peter Marks, original Broadway cast members Shelley Plimpton and Dale Soules, and longtime HAIR publicist Merle Frimark. It will be moderated by arts journalist and Emmy Award-winning commentator Patrick Pacheco.

Following the panel discussion, attendees have the rare opportunity to see objects from the museum’s HAIR collection not on public display and hear from curators Ryan Lintelman and Krystal Klingenberg about collecting the objects. The program includes a special performance by cast members of the current production of HAIR at Arlington, Virginia’s Signature Theatre.

HAIR not only changed the face of the American musical theater, but also proved that a Broadway musical could be a powerful form of protest and free speech, exploring the ideas of rebellion and challenging the political, social and theatrical norms the creators, Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot, observed around them.

This program is free but requires registration. Online and in-person registration is available on the Associates’ website or the public can call (202) 633-3030.

For nearly 60 years, Smithsonian Associates—the world’s largest museum-based education program—has produced innovative, engaging learning experiences that bring the Smithsonian to life. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections and exhibitions, nearly 1,000 online and in-person programs spark creativity and excite learning in people of all ages each year.

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Lauren Lyons


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