Start growing your hair out now. NBC announced Tuesday that its next live musical, Hair Live! will air on May 19, 2019.
The hippie rock musical will be NBC’s follow-up to the 13-time Emmy nominated Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which starred John Legend and Sara Bareilles. Although the cast of Hair! has yet to be announced, NBC revealed that Diane Paulus and Alex Rudzinski will serve as a directorial duo, with Paulus doing stage direction and Rudzinski directing the live TV production.
Paulus was nominated for a Tony Award for 2009’s much-acclaimed Broadway revival of Hair, and Rudzinski served as the live director for Jesus Christ Superstar, for which he was just nominated for an Emmy. He previously won an Emmy Award for his direction of Grease Live! on Fox.
“We have the dream team to bring Hair Live! vividly to life and create another unforgettable night of live television,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “I was at the electrifying opening night of Diane Paulus’ Tony-winning revival of Hair 10 years ago and was blown away by how relevant and utterly joyous this show became in her hands. She is one of the most successful directors working in the theatre today and we’re thrilled she will be collaborating with Alex Rudzinski, the most daring director working in live musical television. This show also has one of the great scores of all time with songs that climbed the charts 50 years ago and have since become iconic hits in our pop culture.”
The musical, which first opened on Broadway in 1968, ran for 1,750 performances and was adapted in a film directed by Milos Forman and choreographed by Twyla Tharp.
Hair tells the story of a “tribe” of Central Park-dwelling anti-establishment hippies — led by Claude, Sheila and Berger — who rebel against the government, the Vietnam War, and sexual repression. Famously, the cast becomes briefly nude at the end of Act 1, a choice that likely will not translate into the live production on NBC.
With Jesus Christ Superstar, NBC restructured its live musical model, which until that point had been relatively stiff and sterile, by engaging with adult themes and a live studio audience. The raucous Hair will almost certainly carry in that tradition.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce, as they have for all of NBC’s live musicals since The Sound of Music, with Rudzinski also executive producing.