Tuesday, January 20, 2009

RIP Tom O'Horgan
























RIP director Tom O'Horgan

O'Horgan is best known as the director of HAIR and the original JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.


During my New York period my friend Michael Sakara took me to see HAIR right after it moved from Off Broadway to Broadway.
At the time the show was so new and unpublicized I did not even know there was a group nude scene at the end of the first act, a pleasant surprise.

Later, among other personal hits and flops of the era, O'Horgan directed this tripped-out extravaganza based on the songs of the Beatles. Though not a tremendous commercial success it was one of the most exciting things I've ever seen in live theater.

Cult figure Divine was just coming into popularity at the time and one of the things I most remember about this production is the swarms of Divine clones running wild throughout the production (and the auditorium!)

What Divine had to do with the Beatles no one ever really figured out, but it was a fabulous effect.


There was even a later film version, at least with the same title.

It's one of the worst film musicals ever made and O'Horgan's name flashes by in the credits, mercifully brief. (Happily, O'Horgan did
NOT direct the film version).

Unfortunately I never got to see the infamous DUDE.

BTW Ted Neeley is still trucking with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, most recently in a "farewell" Los Angeles revival.

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