Letting his 'Hair' down

Servite alumnus returns in production of Vietnam protest musical and to the performing arts center he practically called home growing up.

January 27, 2011|By Candice Baker
(Don Leach )

While putting on his uniform to attend an all-boy Catholic high school in Orange County, Marshal Kennedy Carolan never dreamed that in a few short years he would grow out his hair and travel the country, doing drugs, dissing the establishment and taking part in political demonstrations.

All onstage, of course.

Carolan is part of the ensemble in the national touring company of the famed (and divisive) "HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical," which underwent a successful Broadway revival in 2009.

"Essentially the show's plot is about this group of young people protesting the Vietnam War and draft cards, but I think this show has such a great meaning," Carolan said. "There are so many crazy things happening now, like the war overseas and the marriage equality debate. I feel like it's really spiraled, and I think this show's reminding people of the basic needs of love, peace and understanding."


Carolan grew up near the Orange County Performing Arts Center, now called the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim in 2003. While there, he participated in the Tri-School Theatre program, which pairs Servite actors with those from two area Catholic girls' high schools for joint theatrical productions.

Carolan said he grew out his hair for "HAIR," instead of wearing a wig.

"It's pretty shaggy right now," he said. "Everyone who hasn't seen me in forever can't believe it. It's fun, though ... we're definitely doing a lot of stuff onstage that isn't what they taught us to do at Servite. But their theater program is what really inspired me to major in it in college; it was my first stepping stone."

Carolan said his mother had season tickets to venues like the Pantages, so he would go there and to the OCPAC frequently.

When he got older and attended Cal State Fullerton, Carolan bought student rush tickets and spent many a night in the back row at Segerstrom Hall.

"It will be fun to come back and perform there now," he said. "It's nice because my family and friends and school friends are all coming to see the show."

Carolan's trajectory was set when chose to focus solely on musical theater in college, eschewing a double major or even a minor.

"My parents kind of were like, 'Are you sure you didn't want to minor in anything else like business?' But the program kept us so busy; none of us really had a chance to major or minor in another program," Carolan said.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles