(RED BANK, NJ) -- Phoenix Productions presented Hair from September 23-25 and photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos. This classic American tribal love rock musical celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory.
The cast included Zach Birdsall (Swan), Mike D'Amico (Claude), Dominique Demko (Venus), Brittany DiNardo (BB), Sarah Dolan (Rara), Shannah Dolan (Rhiannon), Michael Farr, Jr. (Marblehead / Margaret Mead), Julia Forsyth (Mush), Carly Hatcher (Crissy), Janie Hornstein (Lady J), Kyle Javon (Fruit Basket), Ray Laux (Shakespeare), Rachel Makstein (Tenacity / Dance Captain), JaQuinta May (Dionne), Moziah (Hud), Alexandra Ogrodnik (Jeanie), Nathaniel Paris (Woof), Jeremy Rotolo (Berger), Aysia Saud-Ash (Luna), Jordan Southerland (Uni), Amber Lynn Tanzi (Tansy), Ashley Wettlin (Sheila), and Jake Wilkinson (Juice).
The production was directed by recording and performing artist Remember Jones, a onetime Phoenix Productions actor who has since built a career as a recording artist and performer, it was an opportunity for Phoenix and the Basie Center to showcase its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Remember Jones directed Phoenix's 2006 production of Hair and helped organize and curate the production's 40th anniversary celebration at Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which featured original lead Ben Vereen, choreographer Julie Arenal, and international Hair alumni. A 50th anniversary staging of Hair, directed, music directed and starring Jones as Claude, brought him center stage with Tony-nominated, American Idol rocker Constantine Maroulis and RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Alexis Michelle. His work on the projects was lauded by the original Hair director Tom O'Horgan, writer James Rado, and original Broadway cast and tour alumni. Original Broadway / film producer Michael Butler referred to Jones' previous Phoenix production as "the best we've seen in a long time."
Phoenix Productions played a large role in the growth of Remember Jones as a performer and he was excited to return. “The community has helped me launch around the world professionally and personally, and the Basie Center has become one of my home bases. Under James Grausam’s artistic direction and the company’s trust, there’s no better time than now to change lives, make magic, and let the sun shine in.”
"At the heart of the Basie Center's mission as a not for profit is to deepen our commitment to cultural competency, racial equity and social inclusion," said Adam Philipson, CEO and President, Count Basie Center for the Arts.
"Hair was one of Broadway's first and best efforts to achieve representation for actors of all expression. Equity is one of our core values, and we are committed to advancing inclusion, diversity and accessibility for all as we place the community we serve at the forefront."
Here are more photos from the production.
For over 30 years, Phoenix Productions has been dedicated to the mission of providing quality theatrical experiences on both sides of the footlights. Since it's first production in 1988, we've produced over 100 main stage shows providing on-stage and back stage opportunities for thousands of talented volunteers.
The Phoenix Performing Arts Center, where we rehearse, build scenery, sew costumes and prepare our shows before transferring to the Count Basie Center for the Arts. In addition to preparing our productions, the Performing Arts Center houses our performing arts education initiative including Camp Phoenix, which provides employment to instructors, experience to interns, and fun-filled instruction to more than 50 youngsters each year.
John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed productions for over 30 different theatres. Click here for John's website.