The first show that I ever saw on Broadway was Kiss of the Spider Woman starring Chita Rivera - that was back in 1994 (at a Saturday matinee) and I’m still convinced that she smiled at me from the stage during her curtain call. I’ve seen numerous Broadway musicals and plays since then (including Jude Law’s full-frontal nude scene in Indiscretions and Jane Fonda’s recent star turn in 33 Variations) - but I’ve never seen the ground-breaking rock musical Hair (until now).
The President of Levi’s Strauss Americas, Robert Hanson (pictured above with Rosie O’Donnell), on the other hand, saw a local repertory theatre perform Hair at least five or six times when he was in high school in Santa Rosa, California in the 1970’s. He says he “had fallen passionately head-over-heels in love with one of the cast members.” Robert is a passionate man – something that became very clear to me when I recently sat down with him on a rainy afternoon in Manhattan to talk about Levi’s partnership with the current Broadway revival of Hair (which recently received eight Tony Award nominations!).
“The Levi’s brand is excited to be part of the Broadway revival of Hair. Our brand’s impact on the style of the late 1960’s was a profound one, so (this) relationship truly is an authentic fit,” Robert stated. “What’s even more interesting is that the Levi’s jeans featured in Hair, much like the themes explored in the show, are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago.”
In addition to sponsoring the show, Levi’s worked closely with costumer designer Michael McDonald to outfit several male and female cast members in products deeply rooted in the brand’s heritage. Michael discovered these items after researching Levi’s extensive archive of vintage denim For the show, Michael chose to clad the cast in Levi’s Original 501 straight leg jeans, 527 Low Rise Boot Fit jeans and, of course, Bell Bottoms. Levi’s also created custom denim tuxedos for two of the lead actors (Gavin Creel/”Claude” and Will Swenson/”Berger”,as seen below) to wear to the after-party on the show’s opening night.
So what was my first Hair experience like? I already knew about the abundant nudity and had been told that the cast members actually spend a lot of time in the audience – but I really wasn’t expecting them to be standing on the back of my chair, handing out flowers, dancing in the aisles, and pulling people on stage while singing their hearts out to songs that everyone knows (whether you’ve seen the show or not) like “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In”. Of course, they did all of this while looking great in their Levi’s!
Our friends at Levi’s want you to have your own Hair experience too!
So, they’ve given Instinct ten limited-edition tote bags (created exclusively to celebrate their partnership with Hair - and not sold online or in any stores) – each filled with a white slim fit Trucker jacket (an updated version of the classic jean jacket seen in the show - which retails for $89.50) and other Hair goodies.
Want one? Then e-mail us right away at
with “Levi’s” in the subject line and tell us in 100 words or less what your first experience seeing or participating in live theatre was like. Also make sure to specify your size preference – small, medium, large or x-large. The first 10 entries (with a valid e-mail, home address and telephone number) win! Only one entry/winner per household please.
Tickets for Hair on Broadway (starting at $37) are available through www.telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200. For more information, visit www.hairbroadway.com .
And make sure to visit www.levi.com too ! You’ll definitely want a pair of their 501 Original cut-off shorts – especially in the “light shred” wash. They are summer’s must-have item!