My Red Carpet Night: Who is that?

When fellow HAIR alumni actor Ben Lautman wrote me to get my butt to L. A. for the opening of HAIR at the Pantages Theatre, I had one day to get a flight and figure out what to wear for the Red Carpet moment.

I decided my purple garb that I wore to the Woodstock Reunion would do just fine, except for black leggings and boots, because it was freezing. I arrived in L.A. just hours before the event. I was thrilled to see people I had not seen in many years, Kay Cole, Linda Faust Press, Reinie Press, and a few others that I had not seen in 30 years or more!

We were all told to get to the theatre extra early for our Pics, before the “big” stars arrived. We stood on the carpet and the Paparazzi clicked away, and I clicked away at them. Then we all took our own personal pics, while the stars were arriving. A few stars I knew like, Marty Ingels,Shirley Jones, Robert Forester, Donna D’errico, Jason Alexander, Melissa Manchester, Charlotte Ross (NYPD BLUE) and then that guy from BORAT?  What was his name, had to look it up, Ken Davitian! Also, Charlotte Rae, Michael Butler, our dear producer, and Ben Vereen. Alison Anglin from “Little House on the Prairie”, and many other younger actors I still had to look up! A great surprise was John Savage not for his work in the film “HAIR” but I loved him from the “Deerhunter.”

When we found our seats, it was all surreal, I hadn’t seen the show since we closed in 1971.  Watching the actors portray “us” was so strange. Now that is is over, I feel as if it was a dream, and I barely remember anything. I think it went too fast, they cut a lot out. It was way too colorful, I don’t remember all that color at our set. After all, we were street people, and so  the original play was darker. Because of the draft in the 60’s, the actors couldn’t feel the life or death situation of going to war.  When everyone was going up onstage to sing “Let the Sunshine In” I couldn’t move, I was frozen knowng that it would soon be over, and I may never see the play again.

A bunch of us went to “Jerry’s Deli” in Hollywood and ate and talked about the old days. David “Papi” Hunt even brought his scrapbook to the deli, and we all looked at old photo’s.

Being in this L A production of HAIR really changed my life, I made lifelong friends, and experienced things many people never did. I even MISSED the nude scene that night, because I was watching “Claude” sing “Where do I go”. That is how insignificent the nude scene was!  It was such a blown out of proportion blown up scene in the 60’s. This may be the only Red Carpet I ever walk, but I am so happy it was for HAIR and not another production that wouldn’t have the history or meaning that this show has for me. Thank you Teddy Neeley, and Kay Cole, for choosing me at my audition. Thank you , every tribe member I ever worked with, and my dear friends like John Herzog, Tadge Galleran, and David Hunt, who have become  very special friends over the years.

Let the Sunshine… forever

Jessica Marciel
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