Vail Mountain School’s ‘Rock of Ages’ brings big entertainment to Vail, April 6-8
If You Go ...
What: “Rock of Ages,” Vail Mountain School spring theater production.
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, to Saturday, April 8.
Where: Vail Mountain School’s Peter Abuisi Auditorium, 3000 Booth Falls Road, Vail.
More information: Tickets are available in advance at http://www.vms.edu/tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door.
VAIL — “Rock of Ages” is a musical which brings big hair, big music, big theater and big success to a Vail version of Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.
Vail Mountain School’s Peter Abuisi Auditorium is transformed into Sunset Strip, the half mile of Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard that was an incubator for 1980s metal and glam rock acts and is the setting for “Rock of Ages,” this year’s Vail Mountain School spring musical.
The show is a derivative of Chris D’Arienzo’s famed musical that made its way to Broadway and theaters around the world. VMS’ school-specific version skirts some of the more risque themes, while maintaining the show’s signature, arena-rock concert energy.
The story is told through a parade of hit songs that you’ll sing along to. The story goes something like this:
Sherrie Christian is a small-town girl living in lonely Los Angeles. Drew Boley is a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit, like the song says. They met in the Bourbon Room, a club that bears a striking resemblance to the Strip’s famous Whisky a Go Go.
The Bourbon stands defiantly in the face of big developers lusting after it’s prized location. City Hall politicians insist it’s nothing more than a den of inequity. They would like it to be gone.
The Bourbon’s would-be savior is Stacee Jaxx, the frontman of the world famous group Arsenal, which got its start at the Bourbon and is playing a final show before the band members break up.
The show is the focus of a semester-long musical theater major class and approaches performing arts with the same rigor and demands found in traditional core classes such as mathematics, science, history or language, said Greg Jones, director of the VMS Theater Department.
“Our hope is to provide many different avenues for students to participate,” Jones said. “Our theater program has opportunities not only for students whose primary focus is performing arts, but also for kids who may never have set foot on a stage or who just want to try something new.”
The cast of more than 30 includes varsity athletes and competitive ski racers, as well as members of a five-piece rock band who play a live soundtrack under the direction of Christi Howell, the school’s instrumental music director. A dance troupe puts the crowd right in 1987.
The 30-song soundtrack includes hits by Night Ranger, Journey, Pat Benatar, Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi, Europe, REO Speedwagon and Poison.
“There’s a lot of firsts in this show,” Jones said. “This is the first time we’ve had a live band, and as a show released just last year, it’s the first time “Rock of Ages” will be seen in the valley. It’s a big challenge, but the students have really risen to the occasion. I’ve worked with most of these kids since they were in middle school and I’m proud of what they’ve become, both on stage and as young men and women of character.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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