A New Age (of Aquarius)

4.15.2009

By Justin Ocean

Hippies get a bad rap, so it's understandable that Gavin Creel is dead set on not playing a patchouli-scented, antiestablishment caricature in the latest revival of Hair, currently on Broadway.

' 'Hippie' is what outside forces labeled people who were just rebelling against the confines of the '50s,' says the Tony-nominated actor, who leads as Claude. 'It's really about belief in freedom of expression, to be whoever you are.' A freedom the Findlay, Ohio (population 39,118), native knows well.

'I spent the longest time thinking, Oh, I've got to act a certain way,' he explains, referring to his less 'out' days. 'Fuck that noise. Fuck it hard. It feels so good to be able to say that.'

Creel hopes to harness the play's 'tribal love-rock' vision of optimism, peace, and love with BroadwayImpact.com, a marriage equality initiative he cofounded set to mobilize the theater community. And given the recent doom-and-gloom economy, wars, and civil rights setbacks, it seems the perfect moment to let the sun shine in again.

Hair is playing at New York City's Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

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