Hair On Broadway at Boston University

From 1964-1968, James Rado and Gerome Ragni scripted "The Age of Aquarius", promoting its inherent ideals of peace, love, and happiness with long-haired hippie protagonists. The resulting show, Hair (aka The Tribal Rock Musical) was recently revived for Broadway in early 2009, showing in New York City, but Boston University's musical theater group, On Broadway, put up their own rendition of the 1960s rock-based show.

Selling out their Friday and Saturday night performances, the cast and crew of Hair rehearsed for almost three months in preparation for opening night on Friday, March 27. Susanna Bolle and I snuck backstage to catch some footage of the chaos that is performance day, including conversations with the director/choreographer, musical director, and one of the male leads.

Behind the Scenes at BU On Broadway's Hair from Susanna Bolle on Vimeo.


Looney Tunes Records

Pat McGrath moved to Boston in the late 1970s to study English at Boston University and, perhaps more importantly for him, to explore the variety of record stores around the city. McGrath immediately started working at Looney Tunes Records, then around the corner across from Berklee College of Music, and purchased the store in 1982 for almost nothing.

Since its inception in 1978, Looney Tunes has been buying, selling, trading, and discovering new and used vinyl records, cassettes, eight-tracks, and VHS tapes, and has added loads of CDs and DVDs to its repetoire over the years. The store, near three music conservatories at 1106 Boylston Street, boasts large speakers playing nonstop music outside seven days a week to lure customers.

After meeting owner Pat McGrath and his employees and friends, I quickly fell for the store's eclectic and insane appeal. They have proclaimed their love for music as a sickness, a sickness from which I, too, suffer. For over 30 years, Looney Tunes has been spreading this sickness to all those who wish to engulf themselves in its glory.

Looney Tunes from kristine on Vimeo.


The Duquesne Incline

PITTSBURGH - Built in 1877, the Duquesne Incline has carried both commuters and tourists from the neighborhood hill on Mount Washington to the industrial downtown below for over 130 years. Originally built to offer steel mill workers a quicker alternative than hiking up and down the 400-foot high hill, the Duquesne Incline was one of the city's 15 inclines in the nineteenth century.

A native of Pittsburgh, I have ridden the incline to admire the view of the three rivers and to enjoy the nightlife in Station Square at the foot of the hill. I spent time with a gift shop greeter and a lift operator to create this piece on the history and use of The Duquesne Incline.

Today it stands as a historic monument, one of the city's main tourist attractions, and certainly a faster approach to climbing the 400 feet up Mount Washington. The view of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle" at the top has been voted one of America's most beautiful by USA Today Magazine.