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Ugly comes to life Friday in Honk, Jr.
SoVaNow.com / March 16, 2017Everyone has their favorite memories of childhood, and for many it is family storytime with a reading from classic fairy tales. The stories that figure prominently in our minds are the ones that strike a chord of attachment for an underdog hero and a message of overcoming adversity.
Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale of “the Ugly Duckling” is a prime example of keeping positive in a situation that is not of one’s own making. Ugly perseveres when most others would quit but in the end turns out to be the opposite of what his name implies. In the Prizery theatre’s latest production “Honk jr.” the story is told with delightful music and a lighthearted story.
The team of Anthony Drewe and George Stiles have produced one of the most entertaining and family friendly musicals in recent memory. In this production, Ugly goes through a series of adventures meeting unforgettable characters along the way. Each one seems to have his or her own story to tell and usually with a comic song to accompany the action. Most of the characters encounter are helpful and even his nemesis, the cat, usually ends up in a comic situation every time she tries to make a meal of the plump young duckling.
Director Chris Jones has assembled a talented and experienced ensemble of young people to create the world of Ugly’s travels. The title role is played by Minjune Kim who has graced the Prizery stage last summer working with the professional company and learning from the more experienced actors. He is a prime example of how the local arts community offers experiences for young people looking to develop their talents. He is one of the youngest of the principal characters in the play but is the center of the action start to finish. Ugly’s adventures give him a chance to shine on stage and the whole family will be humming his catchy melodies as they exit the theatre.
Also joining the more supportive characters in Ugly’s life is Kathrine Flowers as Grayleg, the goose with a history of military expertise and self-declared leader of the flock. Flowers has been a participant in summer theatre and Halifax County Little Theatre production for many years and is one of the most experienced members of the cast. She has years of experience as an actor, singer, and dancer and adds much talent to the show.
Playing the parental figures of Ida and Drake are Gracie Berneche and Timothy Coleman. Gracie has been on the Prizery almost as long as the theatre has been open. She has worked with Halifax County Little Theatre since she was a preschooler and has had roles in The Prizery summer theatre including “Annie.” Timothy is more recent to the stage but has been in several productions with HCLT. This is his biggest part to date and he is making the most of it. As the parents who know that a duckling’s importance is more than just his appearance, they provide a strong values message to the audience along with lots of laughs.
The most laughs come courtesy of the villainous cat and a laid back frog played by Victoria Montez Bradley and Luke McKinney. The cat is a single-minded feline whose life is directed by her stomach and a fondness for duckling soup. The laughs are ongoing whenever one of her plans falls just short of success. Bradley has been a fixture on the Prizery stage for several years and has appeared in several summer theatre productions .Luke has also been performing for several years in productions of HCLT and has one of the most memorable moments on stage with his song telling Ugly to not take life too seriously.
Local patrons will want to make a point of seeing “Honk jr.” for the wonderful story and the entertaining actors on stage. This show is a treat for the whole family and a strong message of overcoming adversity through perseverance and a lot of help from those who care about you.
It is a story for young people but the music and comedy will be just as interesting to older audiences as well.
The show opens Friday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue on Friday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. There are two morning matinees on March 18 and 25, at 11 a.m. and two Sunday performances on March 19 and 26 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are available at the Prizery box office (phone 434-572-8339) or online at theprizery.com.
Make plans to attend for this entertaining event for all ages.
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