"Hair"'s Sarah Hyland, Jonah Platt, Mario, Hunter Parrish and Jenna Ushkowitz at rehearsals (Ed Krieger)
The Hollywood Bowl has hosted some remarkable Broadway musicals over the past few years. Last season, attendees caught Ashlee Simpson and Drew Carey star in the Kander and Ebb hit show, “Chicago.” The Brooke Shields-directed spectacular was nothing short of outstanding. The 18,000 seat amphitheater is also the home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has been since it opened in 1922. This summer season, the Hollywood Bowl showcases an iconic theatrical experience that is forever relevant and timeless. On Aug. 1, 2 and 3, “Hair” explodes onto the Bowl’s stage.
In 1968, the rock musical sensation “Hair” debuted on the Great White Way. The show delves into the journey of hippies as they navigate through the Vietnam War. It also focuses on the sexual revolution that was a major part of the ’60s.
Almost 40 years later, the Hollywood Bowl is reviving the show for three nights. The star-studded cast breathes new life into the book and lyrics penned by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot.
Kristen Bell leads the cast as Sheila, the feminist powerhouse not afraid to speak her mind. Bell is best know for the hit TV show “Veronica Mars” and the voice of Anna in Frozen. Her character sings two of the most noteworthy songs in the show, “Easy to Be Hard” and “Good Morning Starshine.” Amber Riley takes on the role of Dionne; the role is perfect for Riley who soared to fame belting out songs on “Glee.” Another “Glee” regular, Jenna Ushkowitz, is also part of the cast as Jeanie.
Sarah Hyland of “Modern Family” plays Crissy, a pregnant, drug-addled teen obsessing over a male crush in the song “Frank Mills.”
“’Hair’ is a lot of fun. It has been amazing so far. I am so excited to be a part of it,” Hyland says. She has little time in between “Hair” and her next project, more “Modern Family.” “The performances are Aug. 1, 2 and 3, and I head back to ‘Modern Family’ Aug. 4.”
Rounding out the female cast is Beverly D’Angelo. Best known for her National Lampoon’s Vacation days, D’Angelo starred in the film version of Hair in the late ’70s taking on the role of Sheila and is Mom in this new production.
Hunter Parrish plays Claude, the male lead torn between his hippie ideals and fighting for his country. Parrish is no stranger to the stage, having starred on Broadway in “Spring Awakening” and “Godspell.” This role is a far cry from playing Silas Botwin on Showtime’s “Weeds,” but Parrish is up for the challenge.
“This production of ‘Hair’ is very quick. Our director put together an amazing cast. It is still a big production,” shares Parrish. “What is exciting is for people to enjoy the fun.”
Multiplatinum singer Mario is going to play the racially charged role of Hud. Mario, who has appeared in Step Up and Freedom Writers, is set to shine in this role.
“I was really nervous. We only have 10 days of rehearsal,” he admits. “I can relate to my character, though I am going to bring a little more slyness to it.”
Adam Shankman is directing and choreographing the Bowl’s staging of “Hair.” He is an acclaimed director, choreographer and dancer who brought such iconic shows like “Hairspray” and “Rock of Ages” to the big screen.
“It is a total celebration at the Bowl and being outside,” Shankman says. “I love the music so much, I think it is probably more dance intensive because I love choreographing.”
Although he only had 10 days to rehearse the show, he will deliver a standout production with this talented cast.
“It is just an adrenaline experience. The set is massive. There is so much work to be done,” Shankman continues. “It is all about levels of commitment. It is all about coming from a place of love and not fear. That’s why ‘Hair’ feels relevant.”
Between the Broadway-caliber performers and stunning direction, “Hair” is going to be a feast for the eyes and ears. “The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” is set to rock the Hollywood Bowl and bring together generations of people with a timeless message. Get your tickets today and “Let the Sunshine In.”
When: Friday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 2 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles 90068
Contact: (323) 850-2000 or Ticketmaster.com