“You Can’t Stop the Beat” at Spring Musical “Hairspray!”

Little Inez (Sophomore Ricara Harris) and Gillbert (Sam Major) Dance at the record store.

Harley Walker , Revolution Correspondent

Over 70 students will bring 1960s-era Baltimore to life this weekend in the spring musical, Hairspray.

The story follows “plus size” teen Tracy Turnblad, living in 1960’s Baltimore, who joins the Corny Collins dance show and falls for the lead dancer, Link Larkin. While the schools are integrated, segregation still exists, as African-American teens are only allowed to dance on “Negro Day.”  Tracy works together with her African-American friends to try and end segregation.

The musical combats stereotypes. Tracy fights to show that, despite being fat, she is still worthy of love and respect.

“It’s definitely a different kind of play than what we’ve seen, than what we’ve done before,” stage manager junior Claire Flores said.   

“It’s not just we’re putting on a show, it’s a message that needs to be conveyed in real life,” senior Reid Wilkins, who plays cute and popular Link Larkin, said.

Hairspray’s message is that diversity should be celebrated.

“This is the most racially diverse cast we have ever had,” junior Alexis Logan, who plays Tracy Turnblad, said.

“The diversity that we have this year is just really cool because they’re a ton of people who have never done it [been in an AHS musical] before,” Flores said.   

“It means so much to everyone in the cast,” Wilkins said. “It’s like we have to get this right so that the message is conveyed in the right way.”  

Several members of the cast said the song “I Know Where I’ve Been,” sung by the character Motormouth Maybelle, will be the most powerful.

Motormouth Maybelle is like a mother to everyone, no matter their skin color, according to freshman Lala Burton, who plays the character.  

During the song there will be pictures projected on the walls of the civil rights movement.

“While I’m singing the song you can get a picture of what I’m trying to get to,” Burton said.

“There’s not going to be a dry eye out there,” Logan said.

“The cast has stuck through all the long rehearsals and everything, all the hard work that everybody put into it, it’s going to be very rewarding,” Flores said.  

Show dates are April 28 through May 1. Tickets are available at the AHS Presents website and at the box office starting two hours before the play starts.