Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Auditions for HAIR at Peoria's Cornstock Theatre

Let the sun shine in! If you've always wanted to sing about your long, beautiful hair or the Age of Aquarius, you will want to head over to Peoria and Cornstock Theatre on Saturday or Sunday (June 8 and 9) at 1 pm  to audition for their upcoming production of "Hair."

But only if you're over 18 and you're ready for anything. In Cornstock's audition materials, director Chip Joyce warns: "This production will engage, affect, and shock in the ways HAIR always has and always should."

When it started, "Hair" was definitely provocative. With nudity, profanity, drug use, sexual situations, outrageous songs and characters, and a definite anti-war sentiment, this rock musical from Galt MacDermot (music) and James Rado/Gerome Ragni (book and lyrics) stood out out as a very turn-on-drop-out kind of show, a reflection of where the culture was and wasn't in 1969.

The whole idea of "Hair" was to encourage individuality and self-expression, focusing on a "tribe" of hippie kids in New York City living a Bohemian lifestyle decades before "Rent." Their long, wild, freely flowing hair is a symbol of rebellion against "The Establishment," their conservative parents, and the draft in the Vietnam era, with its crew-cuts and spit-and-polish conformity.

Characters include Claude, a sweet pacifist guy who but has been drafted and isn't sure which way to go, Berger, a free-wheeling "psychedelic teddy bear," Sheila, who is hung up on Berger, and Jeanie, who has a crush on Claude. Director Joyce says he is looking for 20 to 30 cast members of all ethnicities, people who are "fearless, outgoing and open minded."

In addition to "Hair" and "Aquarius," the score includes songs like "Easy to Be Hard," "Good Morning Starshine," "Frank Mills," and "Let the Sunshine In," which is performed as a medley with "Aquarius." "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" was a huge hit for the 5th Dimension, winning Record of the Year at the Grammys in 1970.

Have you got the hair for "Hair"? Click here for details. Performances are scheduled for August 24 to September 1, 2012.

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