‘Hair’ revival recoups costs

Broadway musical in the black

The Broadway revival of “Hair” has swiftly recouped its capitalization costs of $5.76 million, according to producers, touting the news less than six months after the musical began perfs in March.

Quick trip into the black for the show was fueled by snowballing sales that began to take off even before “Hair” picked up the 2009 Tony for tuner revival. Over the past eight weeks, the musical has regularly posted weekly grosses of $1 million or more.

Although now a strong seller, the production was initially plagued by fundraising troubles that were exacerbated by the worsening economic climate.

After originating in popular Central Park stagings from the Public Theater — first in a 2007 concert version and then a full 2008 production — commercial producer Elizabeth Ireland McCann (“Equus”) came on board to produce a Rialto transfer. Following a public struggle to raise the necessary coin, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel (“August: Osage County,” “Spring Awakening”) stepped in.

The Public, Richards and Frankel are lead producers of the show. McCann, however, remains on the producers’ list, with the show presented by special arrangement with the veteran legiter.

Diane Paulus helms the revival, reprising her duties from the Central Park incarnations, while Karole Armitage choreographs. Cast includes Gavin Creel, Will Swenson, Bryce Ryness and Caissie Levy.

The 1960s flower-power tuner, with book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt McDermott, follows a tribe of young hippies in New York.

Production has recently made a number of TV appearances to keep its profile high, including segs on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show” and “The View.”

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