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20th Anniversary of ‘Hair’ Celebrated at U.N.

May 27, 1988 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Flower children with bands tied around their foreheads sang about love, peace and freedom at the United Nations General Assembly as the 20th anniversary of ″Hair″ was celebrated in a costumed concert version.

The ″Hair ... for the Next Generation″ concert Thursday night marked the anniversary of the April 1968 Broadway opening of the spirited, humorous, irreverent, anti-establishment rock musical.

It was a benefit for the U.S. Committee for UNICEF and the Creo Society’s Fund for Children with AIDS. The Creo Society, which works with the U.N. Children’s Fund, hoped that $2 million would be raised. Ticket prices ranged from $250 to $5,000.

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Ronnie Dyson, from the original Broadway cast, and Donna Summer, from the first cast to play in Germany, sang ″Aquarius.″ Melba Moore, from the original cast, sang ″Easy To Be Hard.″ Treat Williams from the ″Hair″ movie sang ″I Got Life.″

Other performers included Bea Arthur, Chuck Mangione, Frank Stallone, Annie Golden, Nell Carter and Delores Hall. Shelley Plimpton, an original cast member, and her daughter, Martha Plimpton, sang ″Frank Mills.″

Writers Gerome Ragni and James Rado and composer Galt MacDermot, who hadn’t worked together since ″Hair,″ wrote 18 new songs for the U.N. concert and - as they had done for the play - threw out some and presented 12. Rado appeared in the original production as Claude, who’s about to be drafted and spends his last civilian time with a tribe of long-haired free spirits.

MacDermot conducted the band at stage center and played piano. A big dancing and singing chorus, in hippie costumes conceived by Peter Max, spread over the stage.