After a six-week limited run at the Public Theater in 1967, Hair opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre April 29, 1968. The musical, directed by Tom O’Horgan with dance direction by Julie Arenal, played 17 previews and 1,750 performances before closing July 2, 1972, earning Tony Award nominations for Best Direction and Best Musical.
With music by Galt MacDermot and book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rando, Hair examines a group of 60s-era youth struggling for generational and personal identity, dealing with the Vietnam War, and exploring drugs and the sexual revolution.
Hair starred Rando as Claude, Ragni as Berger, Ronald Dyson as Ron, Steve Curry as Woof, Lamont Washington as Hud, Lynn Kellogg as Sheila, Sally Eaton as Jeanie, Melba Moore as Dionne, and Shelley Plimpton as Crissy. Rounding out the cast were Donnie Burks, Lorrie Davis, Leata Galloway, Steve Gamet, Walter Harris, Paul Jabara, Diane Keaton, Hiram Keller, Jonathan Kramer, Marjorie LiPari, Emmaretta Marks, Natalie Mosco, Suzannah Norstrand, and Robert I. Rubinsky.
The production featured scenic design by Robin Wagner, costume design by Nancy Potts, lighting design by Jules Fisher, and sound design by Robert Kiernan with stage management by Fred Reinglas and Michael Maurer.
Following the original Broadway production, a movie version of Hair was released in 1979. The musical returned to its roots with the Public Theatre with a Central Park concert in 2008 that lead to a Broadway revival in 2009, directed by Diane Paulus. The Public Theater reunited tribe members from the Central Park presentation and revival for a 50th anniversary benefit October 25, 2017.