re: NBC Cancels Live Hair Broadcast
Posted by: Delvino 07:15 am EST 02/05/19
In reply to: NBC Cancels Live Hair Broadcast - Ncassidine 10:01 pm EST 02/04/19

The real problem with doing "Hair" justice, and I'm a big fan with a track record dating to the 1970 sit-down production in Chicago: the show lacks a strong narrative (as "Rent"'s second act does, for reasons involving the creator's unfinished work). There's little actual story to be told, and with interruptions and an expanded slot -- filling a three hour window -- the show would feel more like a variety special. It's very difficult material to spin into storytelling, and TV productions need the drive of plot, of stakes. Claude's draft status is circumstantial, a state of being, which works on stage, but doesn't have reversals and drive. He doesn't want to go; he is drafted. Great song follows, but at 11 p.m., you might not feel his pain. You can't mine it for emotional suspense. The show, even when done expertly (and I wore out two vinyl albums in 1969), comes off as a series of set musical pieces. So the real concern isn't sanitation; it's what a three hour presentation with Progressive car insurance breaks in between might do to the shape of "Hair."

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