‘Honk Jr.’ brings humor and music to ugly duckling tale

KALAHEO — Hans Christian Andersen’s famous story about an ugly duckling that learns to value diversity — and itself — retains all the compassion in the original tale but with a generous dose of music and humor in “Honk Jr.” starring the students of Kalaheo Elementary School April 20, 21, 27 and 28.

Directed by Marly Madayag and Laine Griffith, performances of “Honk Jr.” begin at 7 p.m. at Kalaheo Elementary School and general admission tickets are $5 for adults and children are free. Tickets are available in advance at Kalaheo Elementary School (after March 12) or at the door prior to the show.

“Honk Jr.,” with music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, is a contemporary and fun-filled adventure. Everyone is familiar with the story of a duckling that is born and instantly made fun of because it doesn’t look or sound like anyone else. Life is tough for those who are different, especially for children. The character of Ugly looks different and he can’t quack. Yet ultimately it’s a lovely tale of self-acceptance and loving oneself and remembering that out there somewhere, someone’s going to love you — “warts and all.”

“Honk Jr.,” part of Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior Collection, has been specifically adapted for young performers, and the actors personify animal-like characteristics. The lead character of Ugly, played by Heidi Herr, takes a journey to discovery about her true beauty and glorious destiny.

The musical score, often compared to the popular “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” features heartfelt and hilarious songs such as “Poultry Tale,” “The Joy of Motherhood,” “Different,” “Hold Your Head Up High,” “Look At Him,” and “Warts and All.”

Besides the duckling, other key roles are played by Lorinda Sasan as Ida, the mother duck; Jake Herbig as Father Duck; and Danika Thompson as the cat who tries to eat Ugly throughout the musical.

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