Vail Mountain School performs ‘Anything Goes’ |

Vail Mountain School performs ‘Anything Goes’

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
HL Anything Goes DT 2-4-09

VAIL, Colorado ” When Holly Domke found out Vail Mountain School picked “Anything Goes” for its spring musical, she was excited to put her nine years of tap dancing experience to use.

“It’s the biggest dance endeavor we’ve ever done at this school,” the 17-year-old said.

“Anything Goes” ” a popular musical for high school drama types ” is packed with famous tap numbers.

Domke’s fave?

“‘Take me back to Manhattan.’ We get to do a kickline like the Rockettes,” she said.

“Anything Goes” debuts Friday, Feb. 6, at Vail Mountain School in East Vail. Show director Melissa Schmitz, a music teacher at the school, said she considered the cast’s strengths when she picked the show. Several of the girls trying out were strong dancers who would thrive in “Anything Goes,” she said.

“It’s just known for these fantastic jazz, tap numbers,” Schmitz said.

For help with the choreography, she turned to Kitty Gwathmey, 69, a tap teacher at Colorado Mountain College. Gwathmey said she listened to a tape of “Anything Goes” over and over for inspiration.

“The music almost tells you what tap steps to use,” she said.

While most of the teens already knew how to tap, the few who didn’t learned from their peers, Gwathmey said.

“They learned from each other, which I think is wonderful,” she said.

“Anything Goes” debuted on Broadway in 1934. The action takes place on an ocean liner headed from New York to London. A stowaway enlists the help of nightclub singer Reno Sweeney to win over leading lady Hope Harcourt, an engaged heiress.

Schmitz said the show holds educational value because famous songwriter Cole Porter penned the music.

“In my opinion, it’s definitely important to know Cole Porter and where he fits into the history of American musicals,” she said.

Senior Alex Morten, who plays Hope Harcourt, plans to major in theater at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. She appreciates the crash course on Porter.

“He wrote so many shows that are just classics, basically, and I just think as a theater major, if you don’t know about that, you’re kind of in trouble,” she said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

What: Students perform “Anything Goes”

When: Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Vail Mountain School, 3000 Booth Falls Road in East Vail

Cost: $10

More information: 970-476-3850

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