Like patchouli oil on dry skin, this news is far out. On Thursday, May 24, Deadline reported that Hair Live! is headed to NBC. Based on ‘60s Broadway classic Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, Hair Live! is a politically progressive and groovy choice for a TV musical. Set in New York City, Hair follows a group of politically active and sexually progressive people coming of age during the Vietnam War. They wish for peace, protest the war, clash with people who fall on the conservative end of the ideology spectrum, are impacted by the draft, and embrace the Age of Aquarius.
In a press release, NBC revealed that the production will take place in front of a live audience in spring of next year. Yes, just like Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert, Hair Live! will let the sun shine on the people watching in the studio and the people watching at home. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in the press release,
“I’m overjoyed that James Rado and Galt MacDermot are trusting us with their masterpiece Hair, one of the most original shows ever conceived for Broadway with one of the greatest scores. These songs are part of the vocabulary of popular music, and this rebellious story of young people protesting and standing up for what they believe in is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. This will be the perfect live event, and I’m looking forward to seeing Craig [Zadan] and Neil [Meron], along with our partners at MGM and the original creators bring the audience to their feet as they experience these beloved songs and recognizable young characters.”
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are NBC's go-to musical executive producers. The duo first brought NBC's live musical hills to life in 2013 with The Sound of Music Live!, and they've been the executive producers on every NBC live musical since. Zadan and Meron said in the press release,
"When we both, individually, saw Hair on Broadway, we were knocked out by how musical theater could be stretched into something so daring, immersive and audacious. Its recent Broadway revival showed how timeless the show is and that it's relevant to any era. Hair is filled with heartfelt emotion, joy and thrilling music and it really will be the new dawning of the Age of Aquarius."
While NBC probably won't feature the stage production's notorious nude scene (but hey, who knows?), Hair Live! will undoubtedly include the Broadway show's iconic music. Whether you've seen the 1979 feature film based on the musical a thousand times or you're only vaguely familiar with the Broadway show, you without a doubt know some of Hair's songs. Showtunes "Aquarius," "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)," "Easy to Be Hard," "Good Morning Starshine," and "Hair" all became pop hits after the musical hit the Great White Way.
R&B group The 5th Dimension released a medley of "Aquarius" and "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)" in 1969, and this cover sat at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. Three Dog Night's cover of "Easy to be Hard" reached number three that same year. Pop singer Oliver's rendition of "Good Morning Starshine" hit number three in '69 as well. Oh, and the original Broadway cast recording remained at number one for 13 weeks and won the Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album in 1969.
Come next spring, this forward-thinking, sex-positive, political, and enduring musical with a bunch of indisputably fantastic jams will be on a television set near you.