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Published May 19, 2011

Hair is a happening. That's how director Diane Paulus describes her production of the "American tribal love-rock musical," which won the 2009 Tony Award for best musical revival. Now the tour comes to Tampa.

"What's central to Hair is the idea of the tribe," Paulus said in an interview. "Cast members are not called a chorus; they're a tribe. Basically, the tribe is onstage the whole time. There's very little scenery; everything's done through bodies and space and through transformation. The thing that's really hard-wired in Hair is this open contact with the audience. There's not a fourth wall that separates you. For me, the production was like staging an actual happening."

In other words, if your seat is on an aisle near the stage, there's a good chance you will have contact with someone wearing bellbottoms and love beads.

Hair opens Tuesday and has eight performances through May 29 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $38.50-$75.50. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045;

In Sunday's Latitudes, director Paulus talks about growing up in the 1980s but yearning for the radical theater of the 1960s. "All my life I felt like I missed my decade."