Adventures in Haircutting

Early in the process for the Christmas Revels, everyone in the cast gets the word: No cutting your hair until after the show. That means men, too, although it’s possible to get special permission if you just can’t live with the big hair look. Some people end up with wigs. But, the rest of the year, your hair is your own.

My civil war look.

That’s why I got a haircut 10 days before the Washington Revels Heritage Voices show at Ford’s Theatre last month. It had vaguely crossed my mind that my long hair might be an asset to a Civil War-era show, but, well, an opportunity arose and I put my hair in the hands of a very talented young lady at a salon on U Street. My hair, which used to reach well past the middle of my back, is now just below my chin.

The day of the next rehearsal, it occurred to me that I should e-mail Kate McGhee, the costume designer for the gig, to let her know. I am told that quite a wail emanated from Kate’s office when she read the message. Oops. Sorry, Kate.

Fortunately, with the help of bobby pins, some fake hair, and a snood, I looked perfectly presentable onstage, although probably not as awesome as I would have looked in the 19th-century hairdo Kate had planned for me.