"Dude" might have been waved away as just another failed musical if it hadn't been for two things: its pedigree and its challenge. We were entirely aware of both as we sat—in the foothills, in the mountains, in the valleys, among the trees—watching it on opening night. The pedigree? "Dude" was by the authors of "Hair," that watershed rock festival that changed the minds of the country about what it wanted to look at and listen to. The challenge? The producers and authors of "Dude" made it plain by word and woodwind, by hammer and chisel, that they were out to restructure the contemporary theater in every conceivable way.
Let's take the restructuring first, since that is where the occasion's...
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