As each of those shows demonstrated, there’s a first time for everything. His current rendition of “Hair,” on the other hand, marks another kind of milestone for Clowdus; it’s the first time he’s ever repeated himself by remounting one of the troupe’s earlier “main stage” successes (from 2013, and which I didn’t see).
It's conceived in the rock-'n'-rolling style of a Woodstock concert — replete with flashy and far-out lighting (designed by Kevin Fraizer); trippy hippie costumes (by Erik Teague) featuring lots of headbands, beads and shredded vests; and generally overdosing on the use of a few smoke machines. Digging all the tunes is a no-brainer, under the energized music direction of Ed Thrower (leading a band of six other musicians), and as performed by a with-it ensemble of singers.
Less effective is the script’s narrative. More often than not, when the music stops, so does the entire show. Most of the actors don’t have much to work with, basically limited to snippets of dialogue that set up their turn for a song or speech, without establishing or revealing enough to make us care what they’re singing or talking about anyway.
Many of those with extended scenes to play — involving a ménage à trois, or a drag-queen routine as Margaret Mead — fare no better. Out-of-towner Zane Phillips, for instance, stars as the free-spirited Claude, a would-be draft dodger (and closet conformist), and there’s a touch of genuine poignancy in the fact that he could be doomed to die in Vietnam.
But what really passes for a flower-powered anti-war statement in “Hair” is a strung-out hallucination sequence that rambles interminably, transporting him on a psychedelic vaudevillian march through history. Despite its mindful sense of protest, the show often takes this easier way out, by essentially just turning on and tuning out instead.
Through Aug. 18. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. $35-$65. Wild Flower Meadow at Serenbe, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. 770-463-1110. serenbeplayhouse.com.
Bottom line: Tune in to the timeless music, but the period script is a turnoff.