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Elliot Norton Reviews; Hair


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Elliot Norton Reviews
Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews actors Linda Gaines (Sheila), Rick Spiegel (Berger), and Naomi Wexler about Gerome Ragni’s musical “Hair” at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. The musical was an international phenomenon, with successful runs in London, Paris, Berlin, and Tel Aviv, among others. The actors discuss how long they have been with the company and they experience at the auditions. Gaines says that when she auditioned for the original company in 1970, she was one of the 35 whittled down from 7,000 who auditioned. Spiegel was also in the original company and is the only one of the three who had professional experience. Wexler auditioned in Washington for the NYC show along with 1,200 others. They discuss the way the altered the set to take the show on tour.

They discuss in length the nude scene and it’s controversy. It was not originally in the off-Broadway version and was added to the Broadway run. Wexler talks about the successful lawsuit that they filed against the city of St. Louis when they were not allowed to perform. They talk about how the novelty of the nude scene has worn off and Spiegel believes that people will be disappointed if they come just for that, because it is brief and is more of a human moment than a sexual moment. The nude men were the novelty, not the women.

Norton does not like that Spiegel takes off his clothes at the beginning of the show and stand in front of a woman. Spiegel defends himself by saying that it is the ultimate way to loosen up the audience. He does not think that the women are offended by it, but Norton thought that she was by the way she drew back.

Director: Russell Tillman

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Hair,” 02/29/1972, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 12, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A035B17D6BB54D7CA8EE36E9C3DDC764.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Hair.” 02/29/1972. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 12, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A035B17D6BB54D7CA8EE36E9C3DDC764>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Hair. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A035B17D6BB54D7CA8EE36E9C3DDC764
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