ROME, September 4 - An Italian production of the American musical Hair opened here last night to benign yawns from the critics and indifferent applause from an audience more interested in itself than in the play.
"The show seems today like a cheese soufflé put in the icebox because a rude guest came late." commented the critic for Rome's Paese Sera. Writing in the capital's daily Il Tempo, another reviewer noted more nudity on Italian beaches than on the stage of the Sistina Theater and said the libretto, even with attempts to make it relevant to Italians, was outdated.
The play may have meant something on Broadway three years ago," said the critic for Il Mattino of Naples, "but in Italy it appears the result of an effort as ingenuous as it is useless." Even ANSA, a national news agency, put out a short critique of the performance, commending the music and the singers, but panning the dialogue as "meaningless".
The famous nude scene that closes the first act was done with the lights flashing from dim to blackout while the 26 young actors and actresses held their hands in coy poses over their breasts and genitals. As that scene ended, energetic Roman photographers, with flashbulbs popping, pursued the nude performers off the stage and into the dressing rooms.
Many members of the audience were from the Roman stage
and screen world.
Copyright The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.