Unless it had reopened on June 24 — the eve of the New York state legislature’s historic marriage-equality vote — Hair couldn’t have found a better time to return to Broadway. The psychedelic ’60s musical celebration of peace, flowers, freedom, happiness, and love in its many forms (and positions) closed only a year ago following a Tony-winning revival that opened in 2009. But director Diane Paulus’ groovy production, which is stopping on the Great White Way through Sept. 10 before resuming a national tour, is still as fresh as a just-picked daisy. And if you’re lucky, a cast member will give you a sweet-smelling blossom — along with a head rub and a beatific smile.
Paris Remillard, who plays Vietnam-bound Claude (a.k.a. Aquarius, ”destined for greatness or madness”), is perhaps a few bucks short of the character’s requisite million-dollar charm, but he compensates with a heartbreaking excess of vulnerability; his ”Where Do I Go?” is so moving you may not even notice all the (incredibly well-toned) actors stripping naked in the background. Original cast member Kacie Sheik is sweet as ever as the pregnant pot-smoking slum goddess Jeannie. And Steel Burkhardt, as the hyperactive Berger, proves it’s possible to overuse one’s hair in a show called Hair.
The Gerome Ragni?James Rado?Galt MacDermot score — featuring hypnotically catchy songs like ”Manchester, England,” ”I Got Life,” ”Three-Five-Zero-Zero,” ”Good Morning Starshine,” and the title tune — is a trip in itself. Pity the buzz is harshed by some overzealous amplification in the second act (the ”Black Boys”/”White Boys” sequence is particularly ear-piercing). Surely there’s a way for singers and electric guitars to peacefully coexist. As the Tribe sings in the first few minutes: ”Harmony and understanding!” B+
(Tickets: Telecharge.com or 800-432-7250)