Vail Mountain School presents hilarious adaption of the classic comedy ‘M*A*S*H’
IF YOU GO ...
What: “M*A*S*H,” presented by Vail Mountain School’s Upper School.
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 5.
Where: Vail Mountain School’s Peter Abuisi Auditorium, 3000 Booth Falls Road, Vail.
Cost: $15 per person.
More information: It’s reserved seating. Tickets are available at the door, but it’s not general admission. To buy tickets online, go to vms.edu/tickets.
VAIL — You know it, you’ve seen it, you love it, and the 4077th “M*A*S*H” rides again.
Vail Mountain School’s latest theater production, “M*A*S*H,” is as funny as you remember.
“And all our favorite characters live on,” said Greg Jones, head of Vail Mountain School’s theater department.
“M*A*S*H” the television show ran until 1983 on CBS.
If you’re old enough to remember a world in which you were the television remote control (your dad told you to get up and change the channel), then you remember that image from the last “M*A*S*H” television program, “Goodbye.” You remember when Radar O’Reilly told an operating room full of doctors, nurses and shot-up GIs that Col. Henry Blake had died on his way back to the states, when his plane was shot down.
“It got into the hearts and minds of a lot of people. There’s a great deal of cultural resonance,” Jones said.
The movie starred Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Robert Duvall. On television, Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell brought it to life.
Now it’s Vail Mountain School’s turn, as the classic comedy is taken up by a new generation.
The VMS production is a cast of more than 40 Upper School students, almost one-third of the high school student body. Jones’ entire theater major class is participating.
The increase in numbers has helped make it possible to do bigger productions, Jones said.
“I was going through scripts, and I thought, ‘I love that show,’” Jones said. “It’s built around timeless characters.”
Each television show contained two mandatory elements: hijinks at the front, as well as operating room scenes.
Vail Mountain School’s production is a comedy.
“I wanted to do something lighter for the holidays,” Jones said.
They don’t let you feel sadness for very long.
“The kids have a really good time,” Jones said.
The challenge, Jones said, is that there are so many principal characters, and they’re all dressed alike and they’re all about the same size. It can make it tough to pick your kid out of that crowd.
Vail Mountain School’s “M*A*S*H” has six sets of siblings in the cast.
Brendan Keane is Hawkeye, in between being a full-time ski racer through Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
“He’s choosing to do this along with ski racing,” Jones said.
Max Klinger is played to perfection by Tio Lloyd. Klinger, as you recall, was trying to get out of the Army on a Section 8 insanity finding, so he wore dresses. Lloyd got his start wearing dresses during the annual Shakespeare festival.
“We’ve seen kids who no one has ever thought of on stage. They come out and blow everyone away,” Jones said. “It’s an important part of self discovery in becoming a young adult.”
Daniel Tierney is Radar O’Reilly; Christie Spessard is Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan,
Owen Salamunovich is Trapper John McIntire, and Brooke Weller is Nurse Bridget.
The original “M*A*S*H” novel, “MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors,” beget the movie, which beget the TV series, which beget a series of novels by H. Richard Hornberger, himself a former military surgeon. He published the original in 1968 under the pen name Richard Hooker. It’s the story of the 4077th U.S. Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea during the Korean War.
Hornberger followed it with “M*A*S*H Goes to Maine” in 1972, covering the lives of the surgeons after they returned home from the war, and “M*A*S*H Mania” (in the late 1970s), with further adventures of the Swamp Men grown older.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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