Otto Layman and Christina McCarthy's SBHS production of HAIR is headed to Edinburgh, Scotland, at the invitation of the world-renowned Fringe Festival.

In only a week and a half, SBHS’s auditorium has been transformed into a 1960’s hippie commune. Surrounded by an infinite number of strings, all connected to an excess of friendship bracelets and an array of wigs, the cast of 26 hippies-in-training is gearing up for their upcoming production of HAIR. The classic musical is James Rado and Gerry Ragni’s progeny. And 11 years after its Broadway debut, the production was made into a movie, starring Treat Williams, John Savage, and Beverly D’Angelo as Berger, Claude, and Sheila, respectively. Directed by Otto Layman and choreographed by Christine McCarthy, SBHS’s production is showing in Santa Barbara for only two days before the troupe speeds off to Edinburgh, Scotland, for two weeks, where they’ll perform HAIR at the Edinburgh International Festival. Tickets for the two performances are on sale now for $10/students and $25/adults and can be purchased at HAIR will be showing Thursday, July 31, and Saturday, August 2, at the Santa Barbara High School Theatre. A gala dinner will be served at the August 2 showing for $100. Below are three reasons to get your HAIR “knotted, polka-dotted; twisted, beaded, braided, powdered, flowered, and confettied, bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied!”

1) Show your support: The HAIR crew is going abroad to the Edinburgh International Festival, where they will perform four times during their stay. SBHS’s production is a portable musical, meaning that the troupe carries everything. Director Otto Layman asserts that the show could be performed virtually anywhere. This feature is especially important when the cost of the whole trip is taken into account. Not to worry, though. Between donations, leftover money from past shows, and a Prius raffle sponsored by Toyota of Santa Barbara, the eager theatrics are almost there. And buying a ticket to HAIR is just one way to show your support.

2) A severely talented cast: Both Director Otto Layman and Choreographer Christine McCarthy promise that HAIR‘s cast is the best they have ever worked with, calling them, “a particularly unprecedented talented group of kids.” And between singing, dancing, and acting, it’s the cast’s voices that stand out the most. Out of the 26 actors, about 10 have just graduated, including Christopher Canfield, who will be going to USF; Carlin Traxler, who is heading off to Emerson; and Cole Patterson, who is joining Stanford’s class of 2012.

3) “History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time”: HAIR introduces many different themes to its audience, but SBHS’s production has decided to focus on a particular one: war. While HAIR‘s war is Vietnam, there exists an overlap with today’s war in Iraq. From this theme, the spirit of HAIR comes to life. As Director Otto Layman stated, “It’s still men in suits sending kids to die.”


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