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Hirsute Suite of Love 

Hair at Wash. U.

Hippies? Pshht. Their day is long gone, dissipating in the wake of time like the stink of patchouli in the path of a powerful fan. And yet Hair, the "Tribal Love/Rock Musical," has earned a reprieve. If the ways of the hippie are antiquated and forgotten, why does this particular artifact continue to resurface? Um, have you seen The 40-Year-Old Virgin? The joy and ebullience that erupts in the movie theater when Steve Carell and company perform Hair's showstopping "Aquarius" is your answer. The clothes and slang may be dated, but Hair's message -- that love is a transformative force more powerful than bombs -- continues to ring true in hearts of all ages. The Washington University Performing Arts Department ushers in the dawn of the Age of Aquarius at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday (October 7 through 16) at the Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543). Tickets are $9 to $15. -- Paul Friswold

Love, Boston-Style

David Mamet is best known for dissecting the motives and evasions of his ethically stunted, desperate male characters as they braid dialogue in intricate and profane riffs. Generally, women didn't figure as prominently in Mamet's dramas until Oleanna -- and, more recently, Boston Marriage, which premiered in 1999 in (appropriately) Cambridge, Massachusetts. ("Boston marriage" was nineteenth-century slang for a relationship in which two women lived together independent of male support.) Mamet runs the ladies through their paces just as he does the men; lower-upper-class schemers Anna and Claire connive to win a sugared daddy and a respectable young lady, respectively, and the housemates quickly unleash venomous tongues and dark hearts in pursuit of their prizes. The Avalon Theatre Company performs Boston Marriage at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-5811) at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday (October 6 through 23; there is no performance on October 20). Tickets are $23 to $28; for more information call Avalon at 314-351-6482 or visit -- Alex Weir

It's Mahler time

SUN 10/9

The University City Symphony Orchestra begins its new season with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1. Inspired in part by a German fairytale about a dead huntsman being laid to rest while the forest creatures perform as both mourners and celebrants, Symphony No. 1 embodies the deeply Romantic tendencies of the Austrian composer and his sense of satire and dark humor -- not a bad choice at all with the Halloween season fast approaching, and an excellent introduction to both Mahler and the orchestra. The UCSO performs at 3 p.m. at University City High School (7401 Balson Avenue, University City; Admission is free. -- Paul Friswold

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