Canceling next Sunday’s performance so the entire cast can travel to the National Equality March will cost the producers of Hair as much as $150K, but they say they didn’t hesitate when the show’s openly gay lead, Gavin Creel, came to them with the idea.
Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater, a producer of “Hair,” showed up and Mr. Creel immediately cornered him to ask if the whole tribe — the show’s term for cast — could go down for the march. “I told him, ‘That’s a crazy idea,’ ” Mr. Eustis remembered. He walked away, but the idea stuck. What would be the ramifications, financial and otherwise, of closing one matinee, Mr. Eustis wondered. It was 11:30 at night, but he sought out the show’s general manager, Joey Parnes, to ask what he thought, and Mr. Parnes went to the box office to check on how many tickets had already been sold for that date and to run the numbers. Still, Mr. Eustis said he doubted that the handful of major producing partners would go along with what he considered a radical idea. “We geared up for a fight,” he said, “but to my surprise, everybody was in favor of it.”
The producers have added a special performance for this Monday, mostly for folks who bought tickets before the Sunday cancellation was announced. That will help defray the loss. If you’re in NYC on October 5th, it might be a nice touch to choose to see Hair that night. Tickets here.