1) What show are you critiquing?
2) Give a brief summary of the story line.
Claude Hooper Bukowski, an Oklahoma farm boy, heads to New York City to enter the Army and serve in the Vietnam War. In Central Park, he meets a troupe of free-spirited hippies led by George Berger, a young man who introduces him to debutante Sheila Franklin when they crash a dinner party at her home. Inevitably, Claude is sent off to recruit training in Nevada, but Berger and his band of merry pranksters follow him.
Sheila flirts with an off-duty Sergeant in order to steal his uniform, which she gives to Berger. He uses it to extract Claude from the base for a last meeting with Sheila, taking his place, but while Claude is away, the unit flies out to Vietnam, taking Berger with them. The film ends with the main cast singing at Berger’s grave, followed by scenes of a large anti-war protest outside the White House in Washington, DC.
3) What did you like best about this show?
Hair succeeds at all levels—as lowdown fun, as affecting drama, as exhilarating spectacle and as provocative social observation. It achieves its goals by rigorously obeying the rules of classic American musical comedy: dialogue, plot, song and dance blend seamlessly to create a juggernaut of excitement.
4) What did you like least about this show?
The film omits the songs “The Bed”, “Dead End”, “Oh Great God of Power”, “I Believe in Love”, “Going Down”, “Air”, “My Conviction”, “Abie Baby”, “Frank Mills”, and “What a Piece of Work is Man” from the musical. Many of the songs have been shortened, sped up, rearranged, or assigned to different characters to allow for the differences in plot.
5) Who was the hero/heroine?
Claude Hooper Bukowski/ Sheila Franklin.
6) Who was the villain?
7) Were you able to understand everything? If not what did you understand?
A major plot difference between the film and the musical involves a mistake that leads Berger to go to Vietnam in Claude’s place, where he is killed. The musical focuses on the U.S. peace movement, as well as the love relationships among the Tribe members, while the film focuses on the carefree antics of the hippies. But why not make the film ending a happy one? In that case, the movie will better reflect the aspect of American Culture “Happy Ever After”.
8) Did you get a chance to listen to the soundtrack?
9) What was your favorite song?
10) Did you think that the actors were well cast?
Sure. The cast featured John Savage as Claude Hooper Bukowski, Treat Williams as George Berger and Beverly D’Angelo as Sheila Franklin. Williams was nominated for New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture – Male.
11) If you were to remake this show who would you cast in the title roles? Why?
If I were to remake the show, I would sill choose the actor and actress as the hero and heroine. The actors are really good-looking, and they can sing and dance well.
12) What aspect of American Culture do you see in this show? Nothing ventured nothing gained. Berger is not only at the heart of the hippie Tribe but is assigned some of Claude’s conflict involving whether or not to obey the draft. His death led to the large anti-war protest and featured the carefree antics of the hippies.