Gangsters grace Vail Christian stage |

Gangsters grace Vail Christian stage

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVail Christian students Eric Gallagher, left, Willy Eyrich, AJ Burgess, Chris Purse and Brendan Dalbow rehearse part of "Guys and Dolls" Sunday at the high school in Edwards

VAIL, Colorado “-Hold auditions for a high school play in the Vail Valley that features gambling, gangsters and cool costumes and the students show up in droves.

Cathy Dalbow, the drama director at Vail Christian High School, said she’s never produced a play at the school with so many cast members. She suspects some of the atypical student actors in this year’s play auditioned because of the coolness factor.

“There’s a lot of gangsters,” she said. “We’ve turned jocks into dancers.”

The school’s production of “Guys and Dolls” has two performances this Friday and Saturday, both at 7 p.m. Students have been working hard, balancing their many after-school activities with a rehearsal schedule for the upbeat musical performance, Dalbow said.

“We practice at night a lot,” she said.

Vail Christian High School’s rendition won’t disappoint the audience in terms of top-quality entertainment, either. Some high school productions might have someone sitting backstage fumbling around with cassette tapes and CDs ” not Vail Christian. The Alpine Wind Ensemble, a local professional band led by The Vail Academy’s music director, Christy Howell, is providing live music during both performances.

Rebecca Rehorst, Vail Christian’s music director, said the drama department tries to involve the community in its plays every year. In addition to the Alpine Wind Ensemble, younger students from he Vail Academy and St. Claire of Assisi are performing the pre-show entitled “Little Guys and Little Dolls.”

As the little guys and dolls practiced at Sunday’s dress rehearsal, the high school students were scattered around the auditorium in full costume studying some last minute lines. Seniors A.J. Burgess and Kelly Lowry have never performed in a high school play before. Burgess plays basketball and Lowry runs track, but now they’re acting, singing and dancing.

“If (the play) was something else, I probably wouldn’t have done it,” Burgess said. “It’s a fun play ” we get to act like New York gangsters.”

Lowry is in it for the same reasons. He’s excited about the gambling scenes, which he said should be a lot of fun to perform. He landed a lead role and was seen cramming to remember his lines at dress rehearsal ” something he’s used to these days, since he’s taking exams this week in his advanced placement classes.

“I’m quite a procrastinator. I know all my lines, but I figured I should over-prepare in case I get nervous,” he said. “But AP exams are this week too. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself (by messing up on my lines), but (the play) is definitely not my highest priority.”

Dalbow said it’s been hard to work around the 40 or so cast members’ schedules. From dance class to sports practices to studying for exams, Vail Christian High School students are busy and talented kids, which is why Dalbow knows the play will be nothing but great.

“These kids put a lot of work into it,” she said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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