From the moment you walk into the Wildflower Meadow in the Serenbe community, you are transported into the 1960s, complete with a flower-power bus as the box office. With teepees, tall grass, rock concert scaffolding and hippies interacting with the crowd, Serenbe Playhouse’s production Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is mesmerizing and a one-of-a-kind experience.
Under the inventive direction of Brian Clowdus, the musical becomes an immersive experience, taking cues from the interactive nature of the show. There is definitely a concert feel to the show, and that aspect adds something to the experience of seeing it. This production stands out as one of the most ambitious the theater has tackled, and it succeeds on every front. The staging is excellent, the cast is stellar, and the atmosphere is amazing.
Perfectly cast, the ensemble, which has a clear bond that makes them more believable, consists of talented young actors and actresses. Kayce Grogan-Wallace, as Ronny, opens the show with a fantastic performance of “Aquarius.” Her flawless vocals set the stage for strong vocal performances from the whole cast throughout the rest of the show.
In role of Claude, Corey James Wright couldn’t be any better. While he comically entertains in “Manchester England” and “Hair,” his performance in “ain’t Got No” is haunting and one of the show’s best scenes. Maxim Gukhman creates a captivating character with Berger, a role that he shines in. His hilarious antics, powerful vocals and incredible stage presence provide a solid foundation for the production.
As Sheila, Kylie Brown is engaging, and her delivery of “Easy to be Hard” is moving. Another stand out in the group, Jeremiah Parker Hobbs gives a funny and charming performance as Woof. In addition, one of the tribe members, Tyrell Ruffin, takes a small cameo role and steals the show as an inquisitive tourist who has a secret.
Just as impressive as the actors, the technical design of the show amazes. There are stunning acrobatics that take place over the audience, and Bubba Carr’s choreography naturally blends into the show. The set, designed by Lauren Rondone, works perfectly with the musical, and Kevin Frazier’s lighting design takes the show to a whole new level.
Let the sunshine in and have the most fun you’ll have at the theater this summer. Serenbe Playhouse’s production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical will play through August 18, 2013. For tickets or more information, please visit the theater’s website. The Hair experience is approximately two and half hours with an intermission. Please be advised that the show contains strong language and nudity.
– Kenny Norton