With today’s politically charged environment for change taking over communities all across America — just like they did back in the 60s — get ready to go back in time as Island East-End Theatre presents its production of the Broadway classic “Hair.”

The show, where rock music, counterculture and the sexual revolution take center stage, debuts tonight and will run through April 7 at 2317 Mechanic St. in Galveston.

Set in New York City in the late 1960s “Hair” is the iconic staging of America’s peace-love culture. Also known as the “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical,” it tells the story of “The Tribe,” a group of politically active friends who are part of the emerging hippie generation and the issues that surround them — sex, drugs, and the Vietnam War.

“’Hair’ was the first rock musical on Broadway, and it paved the way for what is today’s modern musical,” said Kim Mytelka, artistic director at ETC. “But ‘Hair’ is so much more than a musical, it is a theatrical experience. Audience members will be enveloped by our theater ‘hippies’ and will be astounded by the musical talents of our cast and band!”

The musical questions standards of morality, sexuality, individualism, racism, violence, drug use, loyalty and social acceptance — prominent issues whose relevance, unfortunately, continues in the United States today.

Featuring book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt McDermont, “Hair,” which is considered to be one of the most adventurous, outlandish, and ultimately profound musicals in musical theater history, actually was the first musical produced by ETC.

“I absolutely love this show,” said Mytelka. “It seemed fitting that we would produce it again for our 15th season. I have been asked if we are making a modern political statement with this production. We are not consciously approaching it that way, but, unfortunately many of the accomplishments of the hippies, flower children and war protesters have backtracked, and we see ourselves in many similar situations today. I’ll let the audience draw its own conclusions.”

Unforgettable songs such as “Aquarius,” “Let The Sunshine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Easy To Be Hard” and, of course, “Hair,” will be under the musical direction of Joey Bernsen, and choreographed by Jennifer Daugherty. Mytelka will direct the show.

Making up the cast will be Dante Anderson, Manny Berry, Annkwinnette Bob, Kyle Crawford, Daniel Edwards, Steven Tyler Galindo, Justin Gonzalez, Trevor Grace, Cortney Hafner, Jordan Kearney, Sarah Myers, Caitlyn Mytelka, Matt Poole, Zachary Salcich, Whitney Williams, and Tara Jones Wright.

Performances can be seen at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through April 7. There also will be two matinees at 2:30 p.m. March 18 and March 25.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets and get more information, visit www.islandetc.org or call 409-762-3556.

Angela Wilson: 409-683-5239; angela.wilson@galvnews.com

Angela Wilson is the community news editor for The Daily News.

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