The IU Theatre opens their season with "The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" Hair, in a production directed by Patti Wilcox with CJ Pawlikowski as the tribe's leader, Claude.
Veteran director and choreographer Patti Wilcox directed Rent, which opened last year's season. She launched her career in New York City while appealing to the economy of scale by rooming with IU's George Pinney.
Hair opened in 1967. It began as very much a youth anthem. Nowadays it's not eligible for Medicare, but it is well into middle age.
Hair, Across The Generations
"The great thing about Hair is that it encapsulates the 1960s," says Wilcox. "The appeal of it can be very broad. It will appeal to people who were of the 1960s, who remember when it was being produced, and the changes in our culture that were happening at that time. And it's also relevant to now, to our youth. So I think it will span both [audiences]."
Wilcox is both choreographer and director for the IU production. She likes to do both. "I do enjoy the collaborative process of theatre. But I feel that storytelling is so much a part of choreography that I actually think it's directoral in nature."
IU Senior CJ Pawlikowski has had many roles in his years at IU. Recently he played Chloe's country heart throb in IU's Premiere Musical Happily Ever Chloe, and Lisa's Nazi heartthrob in the Cardinal Stage Company's The Sound of Music.
Hair's Claude isn't just another heartthrob. He's the leader of the tribe. "Claude's been such an amazing experience to get to embody," says Pawlikowski. "He's a natural born leader. He's pure. He embodies innocence and he's the one in the tribe with the largest conscience."
"One of my favorite songs is 'I Got Life.' It's such a great showstopper. He's trying to explain himself to his conservative parents; Claude lists all the things that he's got. He may not have money, or a business job. But he's got hair, a head on his shoulders, a good body, and he has all the life in the world."