Ramsey High School Announces its “Thoroughly Modern” Musical with Cast Members Eager to Begin Rehearsing


In November, drama director Mr. Gipple and chorus teacher Mrs. Saltzman announced that Ramsey High School’s 2019 spring musical production will be Thoroughly Modern Millie, a romantic comedy that takes place in New York City during the early twenties. The story follows the precocious Millie Dillmount who moves to the city in hopes of marrying for money. However, difficulties involving a corrupt hotel owner, a slowed proposal, and the keeping of secrets quickly arise and inconveniently intrude on her plans. The musical is a traditional comic pastiche, meaning it imitates aspects from previous works of art. Additionally, Thoroughly Modern Millie features an orchestral score reflective of the contemporary Jazz Age music that complements its lively dance choreography.

When first hearing the news of this year’s musical, previous cast members were undoubtedly excited. Many were familiar with the songs and plot line, making it a desirable choice as the high school’s biggest production of the year. Senior Russell Zingler shares how he is “very excited to be part of this show…. This is specifically a larger production and a take on the classic show, so it’s cool to be exposed to this type of theater.” This will be Russell’s third and final year of performing in the spring musical, something that has always been a treasured experience for him. Senior Jeffrey Castellano, who actively pursues musical performance outside of RHS and has performed in the spring production since his freshman year, explains, “Thoroughly Modern Millie is very bright and over the top, so it should be a really fun experience.” Of course, returning members never forget to credit their gifted team for bringing out their best abilities in acting and song: “Mr. Gipple, Mrs. Saltzman, and [orchestral director] Mr. Bialkin are beyond generous for taking three months out of their lives to help us with the show,” Russell praises, “It couldn’t be done without them.”

For those who have been involved in past productions, this year’s timeline began with auditions taking place a month earlier than usual. This is mostly due to the demanding preparation this specific show requires, including the rehearsal of multiple tap-dancing numbers, which a majority of cast members must familiarize themselves with. The next three months will be filled with arduous yet rewarding rehearsals, as the musical quickly becomes a leading priority to those involved.

The members are extremely lucky to have Mr. Gipple and Mrs. Saltzman assist them throughout the process, as both have proven to be key components of the show’s success. Jeffrey recognizes their efforts and shares that they “push us to be the absolute best we can. They work so hard to allow us to have a good show.” Although the expected hours of practice and memorization are at first intimidating, the cast always succeeds in delivering an exceptional performance that embodies all of their hard work. This year’s show will definitely not be one to miss.