The way that I really want to start this blog post is AHAHHAHHHHHHHHHH IM SO EXCITED!!!!!!11 However, I probably should be a little bit more articulate and specific. Bringing Hairspray to Jerusalem, and getting to wear the director’s hat, is thrilling for me for a number of reasons. The main one has to do with my friends – there is nothing more fun that working on a project with your actual friends. I am referring to my friends who are already on the stellar creative team, as well as the community of actors and others that will come to be once we start working on the show. This is something that only community theater can give, as opposed to the professional theater world where I spend the rest of my working hours. Though I want to make a great show, I am actually in this so that we can laugh together, eat together and perhaps burst into spontaneous choreographed dancing in Mamila or Zion Square.
Another thing that draws me to this production is the connection between the material, and Jerusalem. Enduring musical theater is always political/social. (Leave a comment on FB if you can come up with an enduring musical whose backbone isn’t a political or social commentary). I made aliyah with my family when I was little, and at just about that time, there was a massive aliyah from Ethiopia. While I had a relatively comfortable landing, Ethiopian olim are dealing to this day with the difficulties of trying to integrate into a society that officially accepts them, while in practice doesn’t always do the right thing. In Baltimore of 1962, when Hairspray takes place, the city’s African American community was in a similar situation – segregation was outlawed yet you wouldn’t know it, looking around you.
I can’t wait to watch the Hairspray community materialize. I am not sure what will be more fun – rehearsals for amazing musical numbers such as “Without Love” and “Good Morning Baltimore”, or getting together with the cast and crew at someone’s house after Shabbat dinner to hang out and spend time together. The only way to find out, however, is to try both! So please – share the audition page with your friends, invite anyone who might be interested, remember that there are other ways to be part of Hairspray without being onstage, and I can’t wait to see you at auditions or at one of our performances in March.