NOTE: This is part of a longer article about the social/cultural
scene in Paris.
The other theatrical diversion here has been the opening at the Porte St.-Martin Theatre of the American musical Hair, which Parisians refer to as "Air" and are mad about. Its box-office advance is already estimated at the equivalent of sixty thousand dollars. Stage door gossip declares that this Hair follows in meticulous imitation the timing and business of the original New York production - its dirty costumes, its dirty stage, its excellent mechanical stage equipment, its lighting, and so on. Certainly the imitation of the American style of singing is absolutely flawless, and indicates the most painstaking and lengthy rehearsing of the amateur talent that was drafted from the crowds of mixed nationalities who presented themselves for the chorus work offered, and who now comport themselves as trained professionals. After the first-night performance, many members of the audience accepted the cast's invitation to go up onstage and join the rockers and the rollers. The Paris critics will not be invited to attend for another fortnight, and by then it will be too late for any of them to write what they really think, which in the case of Figaro's critic, inclined to be a little prudish, is a pity. His review might have been a treat to read.
Copyright 1969 The New Yorker. All rights reserved.