Monday, May 12, 2014


So, months ago, a brochure showed up in the mail for the State Theatre's theatrical season. As a theatre fan, I was interested. And then I spotted Hair, which I've seen before and loved, and was amazed that of all musicals, Hair was the one making an appearance. I wasn't concerned about a sell-out show and ordering tickets as soon as they go on sale the way I am when a show is in Pittsburgh. I figured citizens of the Nam wouldn't exactly be scrambling to get their tickets, so I made a mental note to order closer to the show.

I was thinking it was in March, so when I consulted my brochure and saw I had the wrong "m" month and it was May, I filed it away again.

And then I was scrolling through Facebook in traffic Thursday and saw the theater's ad for it for the following night, and I made some frantic calls to my brother to plan.

Now, like I said, I didn't expect Fayettenam to be all about a hippie musical dedicated in part to protesting Vietnam, but I didn't want to worry about getting tickets at the door, either, so I stopped at the box office to take care of it in advance and because my brother's a broke college student who was like, "I have no money" when I asked him to call while I was at work earlier in the day. Thinking we'd get floor seats for sure, I was surprised when I was told the best I could get was the mezzanine (not that mezzanine is bad, by any means) for three tickets--I was third wheel to my brother and his girlfriend since my boyfriend isn't into musicals about hippies and drugs.

For you theater-loving students, the State Theatre does a student rush three hours before showtime where tickets are $5, which is ridiculously cheap as it is, but for Hair, the price of my ticket was $36 to give a comparison for how much money you're saving and what you're getting.

And so a few hours later, I arrived in a flowered dress with my long, natural curls flowing on their last night of freedom before ironically getting chopped off the next morning--and appropriately without having shaved in at least a few days, maybe a week or longer--to find I had accurately predicated that the turnout would be most old hippies, and we even ran into a woman who used to go to our church, back when I still went to church and before most of the Nam's churches closed.

I was surprised, though, that the production was actually the national tour brought to the theater thanks to a generous donation, so much love to the people whose generosity allowed me to see one of my favorite musicals on a professional level so close to home and at an affordable price.

I was still sure Hair wouldn't be particularly beloved despite the crowd...and then they ended up being a very enthusiastic crowd, clapping and laughing at even the most crude of sexual jokes. Sure, some people left at intermission, which is standard for Hair when people fail to familiarize themselves with a show before seeing it, even though you'd think the note on the theater's website stating this version would be performed without nudity would send up some red flags. Pro tip: nudity-free doesn't mean child-friendly, but it wouldn't be Fayettenam without kids in a show no child should see. Shout out to the preteen behind us who shielded her eyes after witnessing one too many pelvic thrusts.

Fayettenam did seem shocked at times, mainly upon realizing most of the female cast had nice, bushy armpit hair and during a scene that's an acid trip in which Abraham Lincoln is a black woman. All in all, though, the crowd loved the show--the cast got a standing ovation almost immediately, which very rarely happens around here. Even the girl who had been averting her eyes stood.

So, Fayettenam, I underestimated you Friday night. But as my best friend pointed out, "Seems like something they'd love. Drugs, sex, and walking around naked."

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