Swenson, Lawrence, Ryness, Levy and Allen Complete Cast of Broadway's Hair

By Adam Hetrick
January 29, 2009

Casting is now complete for the Broadway revival of the era-defining rock musical Hair, which arrives on Broadway in March following an extended Central Park engagement last summer.

Will Swenson, who created the role of Berger in the 40th anniversary concert and subsequent 2008 Delacorte production of Hair, will again star as the free-spirited tribe member when the musical returns to Broadway March 6 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Also returning for the Broadway production are original Delacorte cast members Megan Lawrence as Mother and Bryce Ryness as Woof.

The role of Sheila, originally announced to be played by Eden Espinosa, will be portrayed by Caissie Levy. Levy has appeared in the Broadway productions of Hairspray and as Elphaba in the Broadway and Los Angeles companies of Wicked. The Central Park staging of Hair featured Karen Olivo and Caryn Lyn-Manuel in the role.

In the role of Dionne ("Aquarius"), Hair will welcome vocalist Sasha Allen. Allen, who appeared in the film "Camp," replaces Patina Renea Miller, who will make her London debut in the musical adaptation of Sister Act.

Hair also stars Tony nominee Gavin Creel as Claude as well as Allison Case (Crissy), Kacie Sheik (Jeanie), Steel Burkhardt (Electric Blues Quartet), Andrew Kober (Margaret Mead, Dad) and Darius Nichols (Hud).

Completing the cast are Lauren Elder, Allison Guinn, Anthony Hollock, John Moauro, Ato Blankson-Wood, Brandon Pearson, Paris Remillard, Maya Sharpe, Theo Stockman, Tommar Wilson, Jackie Burns, Kaitlin Kiyan, Nicole Lewis, Megan Reinking and Saycon Sengbloh.

The New York Times reports that issues between producer Elizabeth L. McCann and the Public Theater have been resolved, and legal action between the parties has been avoided. "The acrimony is completely behind us there will be no lawsuits," Public Theater artistic director Eustis told the Times.

McCann, who was initially the lead producer of the Broadway revival of Hair, was replaced by Spring Awakening producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel when she was unable to raise the initial $6.5 million capitalization for the musical. McCann will retain her above-the-title billing as a producer of the musical.

Hair, featuring direction by Diane Paulus and choreography by Karole Armitage, will officially open on Broadway March 31. The iconic musical features book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot.

The $5.5 million production of Hair will reunite most of the creative team of last summer's acclaimed outdoor staging at the Delacorte: director Diane Paulus, set designer Scott Pask, costume designer Michael McDonald, sound designer Acme Sound Partners and choreographer Karole Armitage. Kevin Adams will be the lighting designer.

"With a score including such enduring musical numbers as 'Let the Sun Shine In,' 'Aquarius,' 'Hair' and 'Good Morning Starshine,' Hair depicts the birth of a cultural movement in the 60's and 70's that changed America forever: the musical follows a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free-love in a society riddled with intolerance and brutality during the Vietnam War. As they explore sexual identity, challenge racism, experiment with drugs and burn draft cards, the 'tribe' in Hair creates an irresistible message of hope, peace and change that continues to resonate with audiences 40 years later," state press notes for the Broadway revival.

Hair will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM and 7:30 PM.

For tickets phone (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.

For further information visit HairBroadway.

The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is located at 302 West 45th Street.