Broadway's Hair to Let It All Hang Out at West End's Gielgud Theatre

By Mark Shenton
13 Nov 2009

Director Diane Paulus
Director Diane Paulus

The current Tony Award winning revival of the 1968 Broadway musical Hair is to have a London production, with members of the Broadway company crossing the Atlantic. West End performances are scheduled to begin at the Gielgud Theatre April 1, 2010, prior to an official opening April 14.

According to a report in London's Daily Mail, the plan is to bring the current Broadway company to the West End, and talks are being held with both American and British Equity to allow this to happen, with a British cast to replace them in time.

Diane Paulus' production, which was first seen at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in the summers of 2007 and 2008 before transferring to Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theare in March 2009 (where it is still running), won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. In addition, cast members Gavin Creel and Will Swenson were both nominated for Best Actor in a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and director Paulus and choreographer Karole Armitage were respectively nominated for the Tony's for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography. Michael McDonald, Kevin Adams and Acme Sound Partners were also nominated respectively for Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical and Best Sound Design of a Musical

The London transfer is being produced by the Public with Cameron Mackintosh and Broadway Across America. The musical, which features book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermott, was last seen in London in a fringe production at Notting Hill's Gate Theatre in 2005, and prior to that in a short-lived West End production at the Old Vic directed by Michael Bogdanov in 1993. A London staging of the original 1968 Broadway production played the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre in late 1968, with a cast that included Paul Nicholas, Richard O'Brien, Elaine Paige, Marsha Hunt, Oliver Tobias and Tim Curry.

The current tenant at the Gielgud is Avenue Q, which is currently booking through March 20, 2010, after moving from the Noel Coward Theatre. According to a spokesperson from Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, it is planned to move again.

Tickets for Hair will go on sale from Nov. 20.