Musical returns for a summer run
Tuner revival “Hair” will grow again on Broadway, with the national touring production slipping into a summer slot at the St. James Theater.
The limited-engagement return of a show that closed almost a year ago reps a rare move on the Rialto. But it marks producers’ latest experiment with a seasonal playing sked, which has become increasingly common on the Main Stem during the year-end holiday weeks.
Whereas titles such as “White Christmas” and this season’s “Elf” tapped the yuletide tide of Gotham tourism, “Hair” looks to draw crowds during the summer months, when B.O. also benefits from a surge of vacationing visitors.
With warm-weather tourists attracted largely to well-known titles and established properties, the 1967 flower-power tuner can benefit from a long-standing cultural profile as well as the current production’s 2009 Tony win.
In the staging’s initial run on the Rialto, some of the show’s strongest weekly box office totals were logged during its first summer on the boards. After a March 2009 opening, “Hair” ran for 16 months and shuttered in June 2010.
The St. James, to be vacated at the end of the month by the shuttering “American Idiot,” is owned by Jujamcyn Theaters, the same chain that owns the Al Hirschfeld, the venue where this staging of “Hair” appeared in its initial run. Tuner slides in between “Idiot” and a fall offering that has not been confirmed, although the Harry Connick Jr.-toplined revival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” has been mentioned as a likely contender.
Touring cast of “Hair,” which includes thesps who also appeared in the Main Stem staging, will travel with the show for its Gotham run. Steel Burkhardt, Paris Remillard, Matt DeAngelis, Kaitlin Kiyan, Darius Nichols and Kacie Sheik are among the cast.
Diane Paulus helms the production, set to continue its national tour following the summer stint in New York. At the St. James, “Hair” runs July 5-Sept. 10.