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Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Musical Revival on Broadway... and in my heart...

This morning, like most Sunday mornings, Ricky and I were watching "Sunday Morning on CBS". One of the stories they reported on was the Broadway revival of the 1960's musical, "Hair".


What a flood of memories that was for me. "Hair" was the first Broadway Musical production that I saw in person. My mom (yes, I said my mom!) took me to see "Hair" for my 17th birthday. I don't think she knew what the show was about, and I think it embarrassed her quite a bit... but she sat there... a couple of times with her eyes closed... because she wasn't there for the show. She was there to indulge the love of theatre that bloomed in the heart of her oldest daughter.
People around us actually got up and walked out during the performance.. (a very nasty NO_NO in the world of the arts!). I guess they had no prior knowledge of the show's subject matter either...

Ours was not a common life in north Mississippi. As children we were exposed to trips to the symphony, opera and local community theatre productions of "My Fair Lady","Oklahoma" and the like. So, when I began begging my mom and dad to let me go to see "Hair"... the traveling show version... in Memphis, Tennessee... I'm sure it didn't seem to them, to be an unusual request... The show just happened to be coming to Memphis in December, 1971... the same month I would turn 17 years old. It also didn't seem unusual that my mom would travel to Memphis with me to see the musical.

I even remember what I wore... a long cotton tie-dyed dress (we called them Maxi-dresses in the early 1970's), and sandals with ribbons that tied up the calf... I rocked!
I of course loved the show.. We went out for a late dinner afterwards... and I talked my mom's head off about the songs and the costumes... when I asked her if she enjoyed the musical... her only reply was a sweet understanding smile and... "Well, it was interesting...".

Today, after watching "Sunday Morning", I went to the closet shelf that holds my youthful collection of albums... that would be "vinyl" for those of you born post 1975... There amongst my treasures was my original Broadway Cast Recording of "Hair"... The American Tribal Love Rock Musical... I think I'll break out the turntable later today and take that little walk down memory lane...
"Hair" the revival, opens Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at the Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City. If you don't remember the original production, link HERE to Wikipedia to read all about the controversial production of the late 1960's. Those were unusual times... and many of us lived them... in one way or the other... "What a Piece of Work Is Man..."

Yes, I know "Hair" doesn't seem like something that would fit into Dixie's country life... but I am a very complicated woman... down here in French Lique.

11 comments:

mbkatc230 said...

Oh Dixie, I just loved this post! We were watching CBS Sunday morning also, and DH and I were remembering all of the great music that came out of that show. I was 11 or 12 when the show premiered, but I distinctly remember the controversy. And boy, Maxi dresses - weren't we just hot stuff lol. Great post, thanks for the trip down memory lane (and btw, where in N Mississippi did you grow up? I was born in Columbus) Kathy

Stacey said...

I'm sorry that we missed the Morning Show. I have always enjoyed musicals. The person in our house who goes crazy over them though, is my son!! He has been in Les Miserables, Beauty & the Beast, Wizard of Oz, and several others. We are lucky because he has gotten to attend this big music theater camp that happens every summer at Oklahoma City University.

We never know what kind of music will be playing in his room!!

sepiadreams said...

Dixie, you won my contest, let me know your address and I will mail you your prize---Great story by the way...Love Tiina...

Raggedy Girl said...

There is a Chinese curse which says:

May he live in interesting times

Like it or not, we live in interesting times...

I was so touched by your beautiful remembrance of a time now gone. And of a mother who seemed to me to be very wise.

I love that you are a very complicated woman.

I too am the results of being a child of the sixties.

Great post!!

Roberta Anne

prof en retraite said...

Oh Dixie! I LOVED this post! Do I ever remember Hair!! lol I was in Paris when I saw it...the night it closed there! I was with a studies abroad group in college and we were touring before starting school. We had seats up in the 5th balcony, but it was still a shocker when they came out from underneath that parachute nude...every last one of them!! lol It is still a favorite of mine...so many wonderful songs! The French pop star Julien Clerc...another favorite of mine...got his start in Hair there. Sadly, he was already well on his way to starting his career and wasn't there that night. Thanks for reminding me of a fun time!...hugs...Debbie

Dixie said...

So glad that you sweet ladies took this walk down memory lane with me...

Debbie... what a great story!

Stacey... what a great mom to nuture that love in your son's heart!

We grew up near Hernando, Mississippi... about 40 miles south of Memphis...

yep... my parents were pretty cool... sometimes... ;)

donna baker said...

Hello, I (uh huh) don't remember much of those days (don't tell my children). But, I have watched CBS Sunday Morning for so many years; my favorite part is the zen moment at the end. The show is my favorite one on TV. The family knows not to bother me when 'my show' is on.

Arich & Syble Harrison said...

All us Barkley-Freeman ladies are terribly complicated... alas.

cottage farm villa (cottagecharm) said...

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

....... thanks for the memories Ms. Dixie!!! ~Cheryl

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I'm late getting here, but I really enjoyed this post! Brought back so many great memories. I saw Hair on Broadway in 1972. I guess by that time, everyone who attended already knew what to expect, so I don't remember anyone walking out. I do, however, remember that when we went to see it, my m-i-l was visiting us, and she wouldn't go with us! I also remember what I wore, and I'm really glad I don't have a picture of that! laurie

Deb said...

what a great Mom you have for taking you to the theater! I remember the maxi dresses, I loved them especially in the winter with go go boots