It's here baby, there momma ... and there again for a string of budding rock musical performers who went through the first auditions for a Hawke's Bay production of Hair yesterday.

Theatre Hawke's Bay production manager Jacquie Hills said 18 hopefuls, from Hastings, Havelock North, Napier and Bay View took part in the first stage of the auditions at Hastings' Playhouse Theatre where the 1960s tribal-love rock musical will have a season of almost three weeks in September.

The production team is expecting them to be joined by more hair apparents at a second day of auditions in the theatre next Sunday.

The auditions, run by director Ali Beal, choreographer Delwyn McLeod and choral director Chelsea Savaiinaea, had a unique approach of bonding potential cast members from the start.

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Ms Hills said: "It was really good. The group fitted in totally, all-inclusive, and it was one of the coolest audition setups I've seen, really."

The auditions attracted some who are new to the Playhouse Theatre, and while mainly late teens and aged in the 20s, there were older prospects who were probably preschoolers when Hair was first staged in 1967.

Based on the hippy counter-culture and sexual revolution of the anti-Vietnam War era, Hair was first performed in October 1967, but Friday marked the 50th anniversary of its debut on Broadway at the start of a season which eventually stretched to 1750 shows.

It produced such hits as title song Hair, Good Morning Starshine and the medley Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.

An Australian production broke box-office records through 1969-71 before heading to New Zealand, where the cast album was banned from airplay because of its language.