Michael Butler


This project is in memory of Michael Butler.


Michael Butler was an American theater producer and promoter, best known for his role in bringing "HAiR 1: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" to the stage. Born on December 14, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois, Butler was a visionary entrepreneur and a key figure in the development of the musical.

In the 1960s, Butler was inspired by the countercultural movements of the era and sought to create a new type of theater that reflected the changing social and political landscape. He became involved in producing experimental and politically charged plays, leading him to discover the Off-Broadway production of "Hair" written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, with music by Galt MacDermot.

Recognizing the groundbreaking nature of "HAiR 1" and its potential to resonate with audiences, Butler became a co-producer for the show's move to Broadway. He played a pivotal role in financing and promoting the production, helping to bring it to the Biltmore Theatre on April 29, 1968.

Under Butler's guidance and marketing expertise, "Hair" became a cultural phenomenon, challenging traditional theater norms and embracing the spirit of the hippie counterculture movement. The show's blend of rock music, provocative themes, and its portrayal of social and political issues struck a chord with audiences, making it a landmark in American musical theater history.

Beyond "Hair," Michael Butler continued to be involved in various theatrical and cultural endeavors. He produced and promoted other productions and concerts, his contribution to the success of "Hair" was monumental and helped pave the way for more innovative and socially conscious theater productions.

Michael Butler's legacy is forever tied to "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" and its profound impact on American theater. His vision, passion, and support were instrumental in bringing the show to a global audience and ensuring its place in the history of musical theater.

 Michael Butler passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara on November 7th, 2022.

Rest in Peace Michael Thank you for the beautiful gift to the world of HAiR the Musical. 

Let the Sunshine in.