Hairspray Wows Ramaz Audiences Once Again

Clemi Roth '22

This year’s spirit week was filled with exciting events including a pep rally, unique excursions for each grade, and a meaningful Community assembly. However, the highlight of the week was the school’s production of Hairspray the Musical. The set depicted the famous row houses typical for downtown Baltimore. The live, vibrant music brought the soundtrack to life. Maxine Pravda ’20 led a cast of 15 Ramaz actors telling the story of young aspiring television star, Tracy Turnblad. In 1960s Baltimore, Tracy Turnblad, an outsider, realizes she may never be popular in the eyes of the “it crowd.” The popular, wealthy kids are usually featured on the program while others are denied the opportunity to dance on the show. Tracy finds some new friends from the “wrong side of the tracks” who join her in her push to allow anyone, regardless of where they live, to be included in the Corny Collins Show.

Since the plot of the original play is centered around the civil rights movement, many students were interested in how this would be portrayed in a school with a “very specific demographic,” as director Jason Robinson put it. Before the production began, Robinson addressed the school and explained that there was a lot to consider when deciding to do this play because of the main themes. Jessica Moskowitz ’22 explained that “Jason and the rest of the cast thought it would be inappropriate to portray the Civil Rights movement since none of our ancestors went through that discrimination.” Ultimately, the decision was made to still produce Hairspray the Musical, but instead of incorporating the civil rights movement and issues relating to body image, the play emphasized the theme of outsiders and classism. Even with the adjustments, the audience fully grasped the concepts and enjoyed the production, and the cast had an enjoyable time performing. 

Overall, students and cast members thoroughly enjoyed Hairspray. “It was really good; I thought that the costumes were really detailed, and they put so much effort into it,” said Talia Berman ’23. “Even their hair looked like it was from the 1960s!”As students left the auditorium they were overheard commenting, “I can’t wait to see what the drama department produces in the spring!”