The New Cast of HAIR Takes the Stage
This week, as the original Broadway cast of HAIR headed to London, a new “tribe” took over in NYC. DS caught up with Larkin Bogan, who is in the ensemble and made his Broadway debut this Tuesday in the Tony Award-winning production.
Dance Spirit: What was your reaction when you found out you’d been cast in the show?
I yelled like a rebel and ran down the stairs, turned the corner on Broadway, and kept running until I broke down about ten blocks later and it started to sink in. Mom was the first phone call, of course.
DS: Did you get to work with the original cast to learn your role? What was that experience like?
A handful of people from the original cast stuck around to be in our cast, so we got to rehearse with them. But not with entire original group. The two casts didn’t even get to meet each other until a couple days before we opened. However, we were fortunate enough to see the show as often as we liked during rehearsals and I learned a lot from that. What an unbelievable cast. It’s an honor to fill their shoes.
DS: Were you nervous about taking over for them?
At first I was definitely nervous. But as soon as rehearsals started and I began to realize I could handle eight shows a week, I felt nothing but excitement. Watching the original cast gave me motivation and the will to make it happen out of respect for them, what they had accomplished, and respect for the new cast.
DS: Do you have a favorite number in the show?
I don’t because there are too many good ones to choose from. As our brilliant director, Diane Paulus, said, “They all have their own meaning, emotion, and life.” Sometimes my favorite moments are when we are just rolling around and playing, which can happen at any point in the show, often between songs.
DS: What did it feel like to step onto a Broadway stage for the first time?
There were no words then and but a few now. It is simply a feeling unlike any other. It isn’t just a stage: It’s Broadway. At the same time, I was humbled by the thought of those who have graced the stage before me. And I was relieved to feel at home.
DS: What was the best moment of your Broadway debut?
It was the very end of the show when we were all singing a cappella, “Let the Sunshine In.” I walked off the stage a crying, singing mess and thought, “You’ve done it. And now it really begins.”
Photo courtesy Larkin Bogan