Vail Mountain School players present ‘Honk!’ tonight and Saturday |

Vail Mountain School players present ‘Honk!’ tonight and Saturday

Caramie Schnell
Vail CO, Colorado
AE Honk! PU 2-12-08

VAIL, Colorado ” Who would’ve guessed that a character from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” would be described as “seductive”?

That’s just what Vail Mountain School senior Leni Zneimer, 17, plays ” a seductive cat named Queenie in the school’s Friday and Saturday performance of “Honk!”

“The ugly duckling is chased by the cat who is the villain of the story. Queenie distracts the cat because they fall in love, or at least think they do,” Zneimer said, explaining her character.

Based on Anderson’s story, “Honk!” was written by Anthony Drewe, with music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe. The story focuses on Ugly, whose odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. Separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry Cat, Ugly must find his way home. Along Ugly’s harrowing journey he not only discovers his true beauty and destiny, but also finds love and acceptance in all its forms, according to Music Theatre International’s description.

This is the first production by the VMS players under new theater director Melissa Schmitz.

“There are about 25 cast members ” the biggest cast that we’ve had in the theater department in a very long time,” Zneimer said. “It’s exciting for us because this is the first show we’ve performed with (Schmitz) and its been a fabulous experience. I think that the family and friends that have come to support us in the past are excited because we’re working with a new system, with someone else, and its been a great experience.”

The high-energy show is about two hours and 15 minutes long, including intermission. The cast, made up of 8th through 12th graders, has been diligently practicing for their performances, Schmitz said. Senior Jackson Dowell plays Ugly, senior Sara Stookey plays Ida, and the role of Cat is played by 8th grader Nick Riley.

“I have been thrilled with the commitment and energy of the cast and crew. The students have been writing choreography, designing sets, and attending workshops in order to make this show the best it can be,” Schmitz said.

Though the show is appropriate for children, it also caters to all ages as well, Zneimer said.

“It’s very kid-friendly but at the same time there’s a lot of adult humor … the younger ones will get the story line but won’t understand the innuendoes,” she said.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at or 748-2984.

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