Original German Cast

Haare (Hair)

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The first German production of Hair opened in Munich on October 24, 1968, only six months after the Broadway opening and a month after the London one. This was remarkable, since the show had been translated entirely into German by Walter Brandin. The cast album, which closely follows the tracks and arrangements of the original Broadway cast album, succeeds not only because German equivalents have been found for most of the seemingly idiomatic lyrics in American English (when they couldn't be, the American English is left in), but also because the cast is anything but tentative in their approach to the material; they jump right in, which is exactly what is needed in a work so driven by performance and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the album does not identify the cast members, crediting the songs to the character names only. (Reportedly, however, Donna Summer, then known as Donna Gaines, is a member of the ensemble.) That Hair became an international phenomenon so quickly is testament to the universality of its themes, the appeal of its music, and the spirited work of performers like those in Germany, who make this an excellent treatment of the score.

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