Ever since my daughter Christina was in her high school’s show choir, she and I developed a passion for shows at the enchanting Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Most recently, we attended the opening night of the Tony-winning production, “HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.”
For us, the Pantages is always a treat and a good reason to dress up and enjoy a mother/daughter night out on the town. Anyone living in or visiting Los Angeles who hasn’t seen a show here is missing out and should check out the website and featured shows at www.BroadwayLA.org.
Opening night kicked off with the Red Carpet arrival of a stream of celebrities attending the musical. As L.A. natives, Christina and I are not celebrity hounds but it’s always fun to recognize stars from movies and TV shows we watch. Among the people we saw were “Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander, “Chuck’s” Vic Sahay and Scott Krinsky, and Borat’s Ken Davitian.
After taking some photos we found our seats just minutes before the rousing opening number, “Aquarius.” This national tour production features creative choreography and many catchy tunes, such as “Let the Sun Shine In” and “Good Morning Starshine.”
“HAIR’s” talented, well-cast group of actors all have phenomenal voices and quickly endear themselves to the audience by dancing in the aisles and jumping on seats. The cast itself seems close, exuding a joyful camaraderie befitting of a production about love, drugs and rebellion in the 1960s.
Based on the 1967 Broadway production, the high-energy, engaging musical follows a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free love in a society pocked with intolerance and violence during the Vietnam War. As they ponder their future, they explore their sexual identity, experiment with drugs and challenge racism. Note that there’s a dimly lit, 20-second scene with nudity that is non-sexual in nature.
The performance schedule for “HAIR” is at 8 p.m. Tue. – Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sun. through Jan. 23. Tickets range from $25 – $90.
Upcoming family-friendly productions include Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Shrek the Musical.” If you’re on a family vacation in L.A., be sure to visit the Pantages Theatre, a grand Hollywood landmark.
The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd., just east of Vine Street in Hollywood. www.BroadwayLA.org.