Maac and Norén ready for “Hair” premiere

Leksand extended the winning streak beat AIK

Facts: “Hair”

Written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni with music by Galt MacDermot. The premiere took place off-Broadway in New York in 1967.

Played for 1,750 performances since moving to Broadway.

About the hippie culture and the flower power generation, it caused a stir due to its message which included sexual freedom, anti-racism and drugs. But also because the actors were completely naked in part of the performance.

Contains songs such as “Aquarius”, “Easy to be hard”, “Good morning starshine” and “Let the sunshine in”.

The first European production (Swedish title: “Hår”) was staged in 1968 at the Scalateatern in Stockholm.

In 1979, the musical became a film directed by Milos Forman with John Savage, Treat Williams and Beverly D’Angelo in the roles, among others.

“Hair” at Göta Lejon premieres on January 28.

When “Hair” premiered in New York in 1967, it was seen as a provocative musical full of anti-racist messages but also clearly marked by the hippie era’s view of sex, drugs and nudity. When “Hair” is now staged at Göta Lejon in Stockholm under Rikard Bergqvist’s direction, the action is moved to an indeterminate time period where a war is very much present.

Human and relevant

Viktor Norén, who has previously played in the rock band Sugarplum Fairy and in the musical “American idiot”, plays the role of the free-spirited leader Berger. Norén believes that the reason “Hair” has continued to be popular through the decades is that it is easy to relate to:

— It is both incredibly human and incredibly relevant. It’s not a retro musical, not a story about 60s hippies. It is a story of light and darkness, war and peace. Even young children can relate to the power of music, and in that way “Hair” shoots hugely, he says.

Moonica Mac, who plays the other lead Sheila, agrees, highlighting how the musical highlights the drive of youth.

— It’s about the wonderfully naive belief that we can overthrow what needs to be overthrown, to stand up for what we think is right and proper. There is something timeless about youth, and it has always been the challenger. Because when the youth are not challenging, we should really explore this world, she says.

Moonica Mac and Viktor Norén describe “Hair” as “human, relevant and relatable”. Demanding

At the same time, “Hair” is a musical that demands a lot from its audience, according to Moonica Mac.

— There is a lot happening all the time and it requires you to really be involved. But that’s the power of the musical, that it’s hard not to be part of it, she says.

While Viktor Norén has experience playing musicals, it is Moonica Mac’s debut. He describes her as “a full-fledged musical diva even though she’s never done a musical!”, while she’s content to state that she’s going into the project with an open mind.

— I’m safe on stage because it’s a place I’ve stood before, but I’ve never done it this way. But here you are a whole bunch and I felt quite quickly that we are a real “tribe”. It makes me feel both safe and inspired, she says.

Fight against the darkness

The fact that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year there has been a war in Sweden’s immediate area obviously affects the performance, according to Norén and Mac.

– A lot. But at the same time, it is difficult to find a time in human history when war has not existed. You simply have to constantly stand up and fight against the darkness, says Victor Norén and Moonica Mac adds:

— For me, the very essence of “Hair” is not war. It is a drive, a struggle and a desire in the youth who want to stand up to this, she says.

TT: What do you hope the audience will feel when they see your version of “Hair”?

— The light in humanity. That there can be light in the darkness and that you can stand up for it. It is of course easy entertainment to go to a theater – but we are also saying something that I believe and hope will really be felt, says Viktor Norén.