NBC has set a date for their next musical, Hair Live! The rock musical is set for broadcast on Sunday, May 19, 2019 before a live audience.
The Billboard Awards typically air the last Sunday of May sweeps. I wonder if NBC will move the awards show to the Sunday before (May 12)? It would be more event programming to schedule against the last few weeks of American Idol.
The production, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will be directed by Diane Paulus, the Tony Award-winning director of Broadway’s 2009 revival of Hair (American Idol alums Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo and The Voice alum Sasha Allen were part of that cast). Alex Rudzinski, will serve as live television director as he did for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert which just garnered him an Emmy nomination.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have executive produced each of NBC’s live musicals since The Sound of Music Live!, will executive produce the telecast. Rudzinski will also executive produce.
“We have the dream team to bring ‘Hair Live!’ vividly to life and create another unforgettable night of live television,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “I was at the electrifying opening night of Diane Paulus’ Tony-winning revival of ‘Hair’ 10 years ago and was blown away by how relevant and utterly joyous this show became in her hands. She is one of the most successful directors working in the theatre today and we’re thrilled she will be collaborating with Alex Rudzinski, the most daring director working in live musical television.”
Rudzinski served as live television director and executive producer of NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert and also served as director and executive producer of NBC’s dance competition series World of Dance. He has directed 22 seasons of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and his other work includes The MTV Video Music Awards, A Christmas Story Live!, the U.K.’s Strictly Come Dancing, and The X Factor, as well as NBC’s upcoming The Titan Games.
Hair Live! tells the story of peace, love and hope, through a group of politically active hippies living a bohemian life in New York while fighting against and resisting the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friends Berger and Sheila, and their “tribe” are coming of age in the world of the sexual revolution while struggling with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or succumb to the pressures of conservative America to serve in Vietnam, compromising his principles and beliefs.
With music by Galt MacDermot and book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, Hair has a string of hits that have been played all over the globe, including “(The Age of) Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” Good Morning Starshine,” (all #1 hits in 1969), “Hair,” “Frank Mills” and more.