Schmooze Productions is staging a production of the American musical ‘Hair’ at the Harbour City Theatre starting on Nov. 2. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Schmooze Productions is bringing ‘Hair’ to the Harbour City Theatre

Artistic director Dean Chadwick says ’60s issues still relevant today

The American musical Hair captures a moment in the late 1960s when young people struggled to reject war, racism and a seemingly indifferent establishment.

Schmooze Productions artistic director Dean Chadwick said those are issues that are still being felt today.

“I really wish it did feel dated, but honestly everything that is talked about in this show I think is prevalent in our society in one way or another. We’ve certainly got drug addiction problems like we’ve never seen before, the political climate, the racism, yeah, it’s all there and, unfortunately, very real and in the moment,” he said.

Chadwick said he “fell in love” with the musical after seeing it on London’s West End seven years ago. This fall he chose to stage Hair himself, attracted by its ensemble nature and relevant social commentary.

“It really seemed like the right political show to just remind people that this isn’t new and we haven’t changed as far or as much as we’d like to,” he said.

He said the cast, and the show, came together quickly. The show comes to the Harbour City Theatre stage starting Nov. 2.

“We built this as a tribe, so it’s been a really organic kind of a fostering of this show. I didn’t want to come in as a director and go, ‘OK, now you’re doing this and now you’re doing that.’ It doesn’t work that way,” Chadwick said.

“It’s been a little bit slower process but [we’re] really growing scenes and creating as we go and it’s a pretty amazing piece. A lot of different characters doing different things and being in the moment all the time because they really don’t leave the stage for any significant amount of time. They’re always on stage.”

Staying true to the original production, Schmooze’s Hair will feature nudity and attendance is therefore restricted to those over 18. In another nod to the era, audience members in the balcony are asked to bring their own pillows on which to sit.

Chadwick said audiences will pick up on the continuing message of Hair, even though the musical was first performed 50 years ago.

“I think people are really going to dig it when they get here. They’re going to be enveloped by the vibe of the ’60s and the music and the people and the love and the environment and the political ramifications that happened then and notice how much they relate to what’s happening in our political climate today and in our world today,” he said.

“I think people are really going to have a great time and relive some moments that probably some of them don’t even remember, so they might get a new perspective on their past lives. And if they’ve never experienced the ’60s, this is the show to do it and really feel what it was like.”

WHAT’S ON…Schmooze Productions production of Hair at the Harbour City Theatre Nov 2 to 4, 9 to 11, 16 to 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. Admission is $29.40 for reserved floor seats and $12.60 for bring-your-own-pillow balcony seating. Show is restricted to those over 18.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Time to think about this year’s top teams and star athletes

Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards now accepting nominations

Island Health expanding baby bed program in Nanaimo

Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island provides grant of $350,000

Nanaimo Clippers score teddy bears, win one on weekend

Sean Donaldson scores Teddy Bear Toss goal

Snuneymuxw First Nation shuffles leadership with council election

Three incumbents return as five of 10 council seats contested

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Gas companies gouging

Gas station operators charge more for fuel in Nanaimo because they can, says letter writer

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

Gogo Christmas tree farm has grown Christmas trees since 1929 and started U-cut business in 1984

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Most Read