Remember the days when Broadway musicals spawned pop hits instead of the other way around?
Back in 1967, “Hair” was one of the first “rock musicals,” but it was also one of the last Broadway musicals to send a handful of its songs up the pop charts. The Fifth Dimension tackled a medley of “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In,” and turned it into a No. 1 smash hit and Grammy Award-winning Record of the Year. The Cowsills’ somewhat abridged rendition of the musical’s title song shot up to No. 2 on the pop charts in 1969. And that same year, the mono-monikered Oliver landed a No. 3 hit with “Good Morning Starshine,” while Three Dog Night scored their big breakthrough No. 4 hit with the ballad “Easy to Be Hard.”
And it’s a damn good thing that there are a batch of hit songs in “Hair” because the current touring production – which opened its six-day run at Proctors in Schenectady on Tuesday night – has virtually no plot or storyline at all. It’s basically just one song after another – a concert production with a few lines of dialogue thrown in here and there just to give the singer-dancers a moment to catch their collective breath.