John Simon

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 148

[When Hair! first appeared in 1967] it was carefree going indeed. True, there were weaknesses, but the show's flower children were in full bloom, the anti-war protest resonated endearingly….

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By the time Hair was transferred to Broadway—stripped of most of its story line yet bloated and made vastly noisier, gimmicked and camped up by its clever but coarse new director, Tom O'Horgan—it lost most of its appeal. The chief new device was nudity—and what self-conscious and self-righteous nudity it was! Yet it succeeded, as souped-up versions of ingenuous little trouvailles hailed by the cognoscenti so often do. A decade later, the show is not yet a nostalgia-laden antique, but too late to startle anyone but the most backward and benighted.

John Simon, "Shaggy Dog," in New York Magazine (copyright © 1977 by News Group Publications, Inc.; reprinted with the permission of New York Magazine), Vol. 10, No. 43, October 24, 1977, p. 85.

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