VMS production ‘Dear John’ combines John Hughes’ classic characters | VailDaily.com
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VMS production ‘Dear John’ combines John Hughes’ classic characters

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What: Vail Mountain School’s “Dear John,” a mash-up of classic John Hughes characters.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 12.

Where: Vail Mountain School’s Peter Abuisi Auditorium, 3000 Booth Falls Road, Vail.

Cost: Tickets $15 at the door, or online at http://www.vms.edu/tickets.

More information: The VMS middle school production is an original creation of VMS theater director Greg Jones. “Dear John” cross-pollinates characters and situations from some of Hughes’ most memorable films, including “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Weird Science,” “Vacation,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “Sixteen Candles.”

VAIL — “Dear John” is not a letter; it’s a cross-pollination of characters and situations from some of John Hughes’ most memorable films.

It’s also hilarious.

Vail Mountain School’s middle school production features a cast of 45 as it pays homage to Hughes. It takes a humorous look at some of the timeless challenges faced by adolescents.

VMS theater director Greg Jones created “Dear John,” combining characters and situations from some of Hughes’ most memorable films, including “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Weird Science,” “Vacation,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “Sixteen Candles.”

In between laughs, you might also learn about the teenage psyche.

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“Each of the characters has been labeled in one way or another, whether they deserve it or not,” Jones said. “Their passions, flaws, strengths and challenges simultaneously define and differentiate them. The challenge, both for the characters and for us as human beings, is to embrace these attributes and use them as a means to connect with others and, ultimately, learn about these aspects of ourselves.”

The plot thickens

Ferris Bueller is labeled a truant. “The Breakfast Club” is composed of a jock, a basket case, a criminal, a princess and a brain. Wyatt and Gary, the geeks from “Weird Science,” endeavor to create a perfect woman. Samantha, from “Sixteen Candles,” struggles to step out of the shadow of her sister, whom her parents view as their ideal child. The list goes on, but the common thread and theme is labels and how they are a part of the self-esteem and identity of teenagers.

The plot of “Dear John” revolves around Bueller. He decides to spend a day in Vegas because the members of “The Breakfast Club” are there on a field trip. To cover his absence from school, Bueller cooks up a story about being sick and needing a uvula transplant, which can only take place in Nevada. The uvula, for those who may not have been paying attention in anatomy class, is the thing in the back of your mouth.

Word of Bueller’s ailment gets around, and his friends converge upon Las Vegas in support of him. Ginny, the older sister from “Sixteen Candles,” is also in Vegas to marry her “oily bohunk,” a nod to Gedde Watanabe’s character, who shall remain nameless.

Neil, played by Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” is trying to get to Vegas because he is Ginny’s dad. There are several other nuanced layers to the show which weave together characters and plot lines from seven different Hughes classics.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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