Writer recalls the early days at shows return
NEW YORK — “Hair” returned to Broadway on July 13, and for co-creator James Rado, who sat center-third-row, the memories were sweet.
He and the late Gerome Ragni had already settled in a Hoboken apartment before the show’s 1967 Public Theater premiere.
“We needed a place together to really write this, and that was our base,” he said during intermission at the St. James.
Rado called the roles of Claude and Berger “vaguely autobiographical. The love relationship, the male-to-male thing, was coming into flower, that kind of freedom in the hippie movement. We put our relationship into the midst of the hippie movement, and it seemed to fit.”
“Hair” will host same-sex marriages July 25 on its stage, and last year its cast marched on D.C. in pursuit of marriage equality. Would he and Ragni have wanted to get married?
“No, not really,” Rado answered with a smile. “Jerry was already married to a lovely woman named Stephanie.”
So very like the show?
“Yeah, it was the trisexual thing: Try anything once.
“Jerry,” he added, “died 20 years ago this week, July 10, 1991.”