"Hair" will be performed at WSU Thursday, May 1-Sunday, May 4.
Photo: Stephen Craig Barker
WSU Opera & Musical Theatre to present 'Hair'
Apr 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Print

With its 1968 Broadway premiere, the musical "Hair" changed the landscape of musical theater and became a landmark. It generated a movie (1979) and, in its 40-year life, countless productions across the country.

Marie Allyn King

"Hair" at Wichita State University promises a different kind of "Be-In," however, according to director of opera and musical theatre Marie Allyn King.

The musical will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1-Saturday, May 3, with a 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, matinee in Wilner Auditorium on the WSU campus. Tickets are $15 with discounts available; it is rated R for adult language and sexuality.

Because "Hair" has left indelible impressions on American culture, helping to spawn stepchildren from "Godspell" to "Across the Universe," audiences will have this familiarity and expectation in mind, King said.

But she said visiting director and choreographer Andrew Palermo has some new ideas that will challenge what people know about "Hair" and reach into new parts of the work's psyche to present a contemporary face and take on the classic work.

"Don't expect flowers and peace signs, and leave the kids at home," said King of the R-rated production.

The cast of 17 features WSU music theater majors Jordan Love, Stephen Craig Barker, Kylie Jo Jennings, Maurice Sims, Miles Mattal, Alex Johnson, Melanie Cadwell, Aaron Glover and Jeremy Wright.

Linda Starkey is the musical director; David Neville designs lights.

Student designers include Shannon Smith (costumes), Megan Richardson (projections), Evan Schmidt (sets) and Nick Smith (sound).

Palermo, who is in residency at WSU as a guest artist, is co-artistic director of dre.dance, a New York City-based contemporary dance company, with childhood friend Taye Diggs.
Palermo was the choreographer for Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party" last fall. The WSU production has gone on to win regional and national recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Outside of dre.dance, his stage choreography credits include "Great Joy" at New Amsterdam Theatre, Kristin Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall, "X'Posed/Jai Rodriquez" at Hudson Theatre, and "Journey to the West" at 37 Arts, among others.

His performing highlights include original Broadway casts of "Wicked" and "Annie Get Your Gun," and the Broadway revival of "How to Succeed Without Really Trying."

Palermo has toured national and internationally with "West Side Story," and performed Off-Broadway in Michael John La Chiusa's "Little Fish." Other performing credits include Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl and numerous regional theatres.

For the camera, Palermo has choreographed for Comedy Central's "Stella," the film "Holey Habits," and commercials for G-Shock and The Showtime Network/Apple Computers.

His residency as guest artist at Wichita State has been made possible by The Dot and Harold Hauck Fund and the Brown Charitable Trust Fund.

For more information, contact Marie Allyn King, (316) 978-6373 or marie.king@wichita.edu.
Created on Apr 22, 2008 10:31 AM; Last modified on Apr 25, 2008 3:25 PM
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