Los Angeles' Reprise! sure knows how to upstage New York City's Encores!. Both concert series revisited Hair in 2001; New York loading the stage with former Rent cast members, while Los Angeles turned to Sam Harris, Jennifer Leigh Warren and TV's Steven Weber for Reprise!'s revival of the Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado rock opera.
And while there had been Encores! talk of the show moving to Broadway (which has apparently died away), the Reprise! staging has been snatched up by Broadway producers Fran and Barry Weissler for a return run in Los Angeles July 24 Sept. 2 at the Wilshire Theatre. Whether or not this remounting means a Broadway return is not yet known, although Weissler interest seems to indicate a possible tour or New York revival.
The original Reprise! cast is expected to return. Harris, who stars as the drafted hippie Claude, was Tony-nominated as JoJo in The Life. An L.A. Ovation Award winner for Hello, Again, Warren (Shelia) performed in South Coast Repertory's world premiere musical The Education of Randy Newman and in Broadway's Marie Christine and Big River. Weber (Berger) is best known for his work on "Wings" and the current sitcom "The Weber Show." His theatre credits include Death of a Salesman, The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols and The School for Wives directed by Olympia Dukakis.
Also in the cast were Rod Keller (Woof), Allan Louis (Hud), Stacy Francis (Dionne), Marissa Winokur (Jeannie), Alisan Porter (Crissy), and Dan O'Brien (Margaret Mead).
Frequent Reprise! helmer Arthur Allan Seidelman directs. He staged last season's Reprise! staging of Mack and Mabel, now headed to Broadway, and is currently at work on Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks for the Geffen Playhouse. Travis Payne choreographs with musical direction by Peter Matz. Payne's credits include the WB series "Popstars," Naked Boys Singing and the famous swing dance Gap Khakis commercial.
Hair rocked Broadway when it transferred there from the Public Theatre in 1968. The loosely-plotted musical follows a group of young hippies as they live, love and then lose one of their number to the Vietnam War. "Aquarius," "Hair" and "Let the Sunshine In" were big pop hits; the score also includes "Frank Mills," "Easy to Be Hard," "Where Do I Go" and "Good Morning Starshine."
Tickets are $17-$69.50. The Wilshire Theatre Is located at 8440 Wilshire Boulevard one block east of La Cienega. For tickets, call (213) 365-3500.
— By Christine Ehren