On the Radar: Hair at American Stage in the Park and STOMP at the Mahaffey

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A few blocks away, Mahaffey Theater offers the Obie-winning smash hit, STOMP. Using found objects in lieu of instruments, you’ll hear everything from the sweeping swish of stiff-bristle brooms to the brisk click-clack of open-and-shut Zippo lighters, and the melodic rustle of newspaper pages in this city-bred outside orchestra.


Hair, April 21-May 16, 8 p.m. Weds.-Sun., Demens Landing Park, corner of First Ave. N. and Bayshore Blvd. SE, St. Petersburg, $11-$16 lawn seating, $21-$27 reserved seating, pay-what-you-can April 21-22, americanstage.org; STOMP, April 23-25, 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg, $24-$54, mahaffeytheater.com.

Welcome to On the Radar, where we preview upcoming events to mark your calendars for. At last year's American Stage in the Park production of Altar Boyz, as I innocently sat in the "front row" of the lawn, sipping cheap wine and eating Cheez-Its, one of the holy boy band members himself pulled me onstage (to both my honor and humiliation) and serenaded me with "Girl, You Make Me Wanna Wait." Unfortunately, there's video. Fortunately, it's that kind of spontaneity that makes live theater in Demens Landing so damn fun.

This year's production of Hair is a perfect choice — for reasons political, social, and most of all, musical. Who can resist the story of America's tumultuous '60s — told by a group of young East Villagers dealing with war, race issues, and most of all, the stigma associated with long hair, man — via songs like "Aquarius," "Let the Sunshine In," and the shaggy-headed anthem, "Hair." (Pictured: Jonathan Hack, Alison Lea Bender, Clint Harris, Aleshea Harris, Luerne Herrera, Laura Hodos and Dick Baker in Hair)

After the break: STOMP at the Mahaffey

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