The CCT production of “Honk!” features a down-in-the-mouth swan, dozens of ducks, a couple of touchy turkeys and a barnyard full of other fowl all coming together to put a musical spin on the classic tale of the Ugly Duckling.
The show will be presented March 8 to 10 and March 15 to 17 at the O’Connell Theater on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m., Sunday shows at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.cctonstage.com.
The production, a 2000 import from England that won rave reviews, reimagines the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale as told through the eyes of the misunderstood swan, Ugly (played by Clifton Hansen of Genoa), who is scorned by all but his loving mother, Ida (Juli Breidenbach, Sycamore.) Even his father, Drake (Steve Younker, Genoa), considers Ugly an embarrassment to the flock.
Other than Ida, the only barnyard denizen who gives Ugly a second look is a cat (played by George Schippits, Genoa) whose only real interest in the bird is as an entree. All of that misfortune prompts Ugly to strike out on his own, where he runs into a string of characters who help him discover his inner beauty. Helping in that journey are a flock of geese led by military-mastermind-wannabe Greylag (Jacob Ihm, DeKalb) his wife Dot (Brittany Watne, Waterman) and their squadron of daredevil flyers (Grant VanLanduyt, Taylor VanLanduyt and Tessa Poffenberger).
Along the way he meets a conceited housecat, (Ruth Hart, DeKalb) and her best friend, a domesticated chicken, Lowbutt (Tracey Busby, DeKalb), a bombastic Bullfrog (Joe King, Sycamore) and a beautiful swan, Penny (Ariel Emmons, Genoa), all of whom help Ugly find his confidence just in time for him to molt into the majestic swan he was meant to be.
“The show is a wonderful tool to teach a timely lesson about the evils of bullying,” Director Jeff Hall said in a news release. “It’s filled with great songs and clever dialog that help the audience come to realize that it’s what is on the inside of a person that counts.”
Rounding out the cast for this lively musical are a cast of local theater veterans and newcomers, including: Jennifer Enlges, Tom West, Cossette Breidenbach, Jessica Jurezcek, Maria Ospina, Merri Bork, Sue Graham, Ben Younker, Rachel Younker, Lori Younker, Joseph B. Owens, Daniel King, Kelly Moizo, Kelli Moizo, Mametha B. Owens, Shadow Gentry and Sean Weisser.
Adding to the spectacle of the show is a large ensemble comprised of Laura Bosshart, Emma Fredericks, Bella Gentile, Joey Gentile, Dia-Zhane Hudson, Donovon Hudson, Emily Keiner, Jametha Owens, Javaughn Owens, Samantha Salapatek, Raina Sands, Sean Weisser, Shaelyn West, Laura Aviles, Sophia Binder, Jennifer Busby, Sabrina Ezell, Penelope Giese, Kendal Graham, Cheyenne Hammond, Kelsie Jordal, Cheyenne Judd, Starria Lemay, Olivia Naporkowski, Vivian Naporkowski, Tessa Poffenberger, Nathan Skeens and Caprisha Williams.
For more information on the show, visit www.cctonstage.com.