Friday, January 27, 2012

HONK, if You Want to see a Fantastic Family Show!

The Delaware Children’s Theatre, Delaware’s home of storybook productions, has gone to the countryside with its latest production of the family musical, Honk!
Honk!, a musical version of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic The Ugly Duckling, is a lesson in accepting others for who they are and not based on their physical appearance. Ugly, played with great charisma by Tripp Ivie, is a newly born duckling that doesn’t resemble his siblings or the other ducklings in their area.
Ugly’s mother, Ida, played by the talented Lucy Marie Smith, loves him unconditionally and is unfazed by his hideous features. She teaches her son how to swim and advises him to stay away from the sinister Cat, played by the sly Daniel Schmitt.
Unfortunately, Ugly’s siblings and the other farm animals aren’t as kind as his mother and eventually shun him from their activities. Longing to be accepted, Ugly gives in to Cat’s temptation of a play-date and lunch. However, Ugly doesn’t realize he’s on the menu. Once he understands Cat’s true intentions, he escapes and begins his adventure to find his family. While on his jaunt, he meets some colorful animals, including the snazzy Bullfrog, played effortlessly by Dan Healy, who teach him valuable life lessons. While Ugly is working his way home, his worried mother leaves the family to find him.
Will mother and son find each other? Will Ugly ever become handsome? Does he win the love of his siblings and the other animals? I’m sure you can guess the answers to all of these questions, since this is a children’s show!
The production is delightful! The cast transforms into their respected animal characters and charms the children in the audience. Mr. Schmidt and Ms. Smith give enchanting performances. My eye was particularly drawn to one cast member, Lynne Lew as the pesky duck Henrietta, who shows continuous enthusiasm during the production.
The only issue, as with many community theater productions, is at times the band was louder than the performers, making it difficult to hear the lyrics. Regardless, Tom Marshall has directed a show that will entertain the whole family and teach an important lesson to the young and the young at heart!
The show runs through February 12. For more information visit

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