Thespians at Vail Mountain School incite laughs
VAIL – The Vail Mountain School (VMS) Players presents the comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the school’s auditorium today and Saturday starting at 7 p.m. The hysterical and energetic black comedy is set in post-war Brooklyn when times are changing for the Brewster sisters – Abby (sophomore Adi Slifer) and Martha (junior Emily Adams). Their home seems empty; their neighbors older. As a service both to the community and to their borders, they send the lonely widowers they find at the door seeking shelter to a much deserved eternal rest in the locks of the “Panama Canal,” which is being dug in the basement by their crazy nephew Teddy “Roosevelt” Brewster, played by junior Bianca Gordon. Conditions seem idyllic for the other nephew Mortimer (senior Jack McRory) to wed his longtime theater date, Elaine (sophomore Leni Zneimer), when the prodigal serial killer Jonathon (sophomore Jackson Dowell) returns home with his able assistant Dr. Herman Einstein (sophomore Laura Reichardt), for a new face and new designs for the “canal zone.”
The play is directed by Don Watson, who is in his fifth year as artist-in-residence at Vail Mountain School. What began as a two show per year after-school activity has become a full program. Under Watson’s direction, the VMS Players performed “Little Shop of Horrors” as their inaugural musical in the school’s new theater last year. This year, VMS is slated to produce five productions. “I’m very impressed with the incredible effort the student has made to produce this wonderful show,” said Watson, who is also a professional musician. Nathan Cox, former lighting designer for the Vilar Center of the Arts, has joined the group assisting Watson as tech director for the production. He has brought his expertise to classes and after-school rehearsals in preparation for the show.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Cox. “We’ve been having a good time putting the play together.””Mr. Cox has been a big help. He’s helped make the show much more professional,” said sophomore Jackson Dowell. Freshman Harper Kaufman, who plays The Reverend Dr. Harper, said the experience with “Arsenic and Old Lace” has been very valuable.”I experienced all aspects of the theater,” said Kaufman. “Tech, acting, stage managing and directing. It is great to be a part of the VMS Players. You’ll see me in other shows.”
Black comedy”Arsenic and Old Lace”
7 p.m. today and SaturdayVail Mountain School auditoriumVail, Colorado