“Honk” is lighthearted take on Ugly Duckling

“Honk” is lighthearted take on Ugly Duckling

On Nov. 4, the Wake Forest Theatre department’s musical production of “Honk!” opened, bringing audiences of children, their parents and Wake Forest students to Scales Fine Arts Center.

The children’s show, with book and lyrics by Anthony Drew and directed by Cindy Gendrich is a cute modernization of the classic children’s story, The Ugly Duckling.

The work of scenic designers Jeffrey Stander and Dahlia Al-Habieli immediately appeal to every onlooker; “Honk!” opens with a duck pond and nest. This scenery, paired with the lighting created by Kevin Frazier did a wonderful job of transporting audience members directly into a children’s story.

As the cast enters the “duck pond,” the work of costume designer Mary Wayne-Thomas is exquisitely presented. Every cast member has beautiful feathers implemented into his or her costume, a clever choice by Wayne-Thomas. They are also wearing socks or tights to conceal their legs and shoes to look like webbed feet. These clever choices by Wayne-Thomas helped audience members visualize the cast as birds of a feather.

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Filled with cute songs, funny puns, and an adorable story line in which Ugly, played by Philip Kayser, strays from his family after being taunted by his duckling brothers and sisters, runs into an evil cat, played by Connor Sagerman and realizes he is a swan, Honk! caused me and the rest of the audience to giggle and leave the Tedford Stage in a happy mood.

My favorite scene was when the geese, in a militaristic style, marched on stage lead by Caleb Cabiness. The song they sang was stuck in my head for the rest of the night; the sad part, however, was when all of the geese died due to the men who were shooting for sport.

“Honk!” was a great production by the Wake Forest Theatre Department. Since “Honk!” is a part of The Broadway Junior Collection, I thought the production would be one that I didn’t consider to be funny.

I, however, found myself laughing at clever puns and jokes implemented in the script. Some of these jokes easily passed over the heads of the children in the audience, for I heard many adults laughing at some of the humor of the show.

Overall, I am glad that I went to see “Honk!” because the Wake Forest Theatre Department’s production gave me many smiles after a very long, hard week.

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