NBC has tapped the 1960s musical Hair as its next live broadcast. The project from producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron is slated for a spring 2019 airing.
The two longtime collaborators are responsible for NBC's previous live musical offerings: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray, and, most recently, Jesus Christ Superstar. A long-gestating Bye Bye Birdie Live with Jennifer Lopez, initially scheduled for 2017—as well as live version A Few Good Men—have been put on the back burner.
The musical, featuring music by Galt MacDermot and a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, premiered in 1967 at Off-Broadway's Public Theater before a Broadway transfer the following year. The 2009 revival, starring Gavin Creel, Will Swenson, and Caissie Levy, went on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The national tour of the production played a limited Broadway engagement in 2011.
The show follows a tribe of young, free-spirited hippies in New York, who resist authority and the looming Vietnam War through a Be-In and draft card burning. The funk/rock score includes such musical theatre standards as "Aquarius," "Good Morning Starshine," and "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)."
"When we both, individually, saw Hair on Broadway, we were knocked out by how musical theatre could be stretched into something so daring, immersive, and audacious,” said Zadan and Meron in a joint statement. "Its recent Broadway revival showed how timeless the show is and that it's relevant to any era. Hair is filled with heartfelt emotion, joy, and thrilling music, and it really will be the new dawning of the Age of Aquarius."