LIMA — The provocative musical HAIR, chronicling the social turmoil experienced during the Vietnam War, is coming to Veterans Memorial Civic Center Sunday. Fans will recognize several iconic songs to come out of the production, including “Aquarius” and “Good Morning Starshine.”
For cast member Erik Kopacsi, who plays Claude, the central character, this production brings out a variety of audiences.
“We have people who are in their late retirement years, who have possibly served or known people who have served in the Vietnam War,” he said. “It’s very personal subject matter for them. Those people either get up and leave or they absolutely love the show. We also get early retirees who were more of the youth of the era. They typically want to stay more through the show. We get people even my age, and I’m 24. They absolutely love it.”
According to director Charles Fry, there is one element that sets this production apart.
“We have a very talented young group of performers who, in one of the more notable elements of the production, play all of the instruments,” he said. “It really brings home the music of the show, which is so central to it.”
The audience will journey with Claude as he struggles with the decision of whether to join the war after being drafted or not.
“The reasons for going would be to serve his country and for the love of his parents,” Kopacsi said. “The reasons to stay are the love of his wife, Sheila, and the love of his friends. The third variable is what he feels to be morally correct and right to do. So there are three things pulling at him: his family and country, his friends and love interest and himself.”
HAIR promises audiences not just great music but also a very honest look at a controversial time in our history.
“It’s very raw, very edgy and very politically aware,” Fry said. “It strips away a lot of the cliches and reveals something very honest and truthful, and also culturally relevant even today.”