‘Hair’ co-creator James Rado dies at 90

ABC News reports that James Rado, the co-creator of the Broadway musical “Hair,” has passed away at the age of 90. 

Rado’s passing has been confirmed by Merle Frimark, Rado’s publicist and long-term friend.

According to Frimark, Rado passed away on Tuesday evening in New York City. His death was the result of cardiorespiratory arrest.

Rado is said to have been surrounded by family when his passing occurred.

The groundbreaking musical

Rado is most known for his participation in the creation of the Broadway musical “Hair.” ABC reports:

“Hair,” which has a story and lyrics by Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, was the first rock musical on Broadway, the first Broadway show to feature full nudity and the first to feature a same-sex kiss.

Rado once said about “Hair:”

There was a wonderful warmth in the hippie atmosphere, a sense of freedom. Men would just come up to you and take you in their arms, and it was so freeing and felt so good. It’s a psychological truth that had been so blocked from human behavior.

“Hair,” though, isn’t simply celebrated for what it did, in itself. It is also celebrated for what it inspired. NBC News reports:

“Hair” made possible other rock musicals like “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Rent.” Like “Hamilton,” it was one of only a handful of Broadway shows in the past few decades to find its songs on the pop charts.

For Rado, this was all a dream come true. He had dreamed about writing a Broadway musical since he was a boy.

The successful play ran for more than 1,800 performances.

“Rest in peace”

Following the news of his passing, countless tributes to Rado have been posted on social media. Among the tributes was one from Will Swenson, who was part of the 2009 revival of “Hair.”

Swenson, in his post, referred to Rado as a “crazy, wonderful psychedelic visionary” who changed his life. “The tribe is forever,” Swenson wrote.

Rado is survived by his brother, Ted Rado, his sister-in-law, Kay Rado, his nieces, Melanie Khoury, Emily DiBona, and Melissa Stuart, his great-nieces, and by his great-nephew.

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