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'Hair' is still movin' and groovin' on St. Petersburg waterfront

Hair is a hit. This year's American Stage in the Park production is an exhilarating paean to peace and love, sex drugs and rock 'n' roll, with an attractive young cast assembled by director Eric Davis. Advance ticket sales have been strong for the "American tribal love-rock musical,'' performed under the stars at Demens Landing on the St. Petersburg waterfront. Here are a few tips about going to the show:

>> More than 40 years after Hair's premiere, Galt MacDermot's score is the greatest revelation. Along with the hits — Aquarius, Easy To Be Hard, Good Morning Starshine — it is stuffed with inventive music. The arrangements soar in the playing of Vince di Mura and his band. Sit near a stack of speakers for the full musical effect.

>> You're part of the performance. Hair is a happening, and incense-burning, flower-tossing cast members — the Tribe —rove through the crowd. If you're lucky, an actor wearing a bathrobe to play anthropologist Margaret Mead will haul you up onstage.

>> Friday and Saturday have the biggest attendance, and you need to get to the park pretty early — say, by 6 p.m. — on those days to get your picnic blanket within hailing distance of the stage. On other days, a 7 p.m. arrival should get you a pretty good spot.

>> Bring a sweater. No matter how balmy the evening starts out, it gets chilly on the waterfront once the sun goes down.

>> Take the kids? No way. Lest you be tempted by the casual park setting, be warned it's an R-rated show.

>> If you had tickets for the April 25 performance of Hair that was rained out, call the box office at (727) 823-7529 and leave your name and phone number. Someone will return the call to try to provide you with general admission lawn tickets. Reserved seating and blanket areas are mostly sold out for all performances.

Hair continues through May 16. Run time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, including intermission. Shows are at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. $11-$27. (727) 823-7529; americanstage.org.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

'Hair' is still movin' and groovin' on St. Petersburg waterfront 04/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 7:09pm]
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