Honk! Wows at HHS

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Honk! Wows at HHS

Courtesy of J. Hackett

Courtesy of J. Hackett

Courtesy of J. Hackett

Cast and crew of Honk!

Jessica Layton, Staff Writer

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A musical tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling,” Hawthorne High School’s spring musical, Honk! is sure to go down as one of the most entertaining and heart-warming shows of all time. With a run from Thursday, April 24 to Sunday, April 27, Honk! wowed audiences performance after performance.  With its catchy tunes and family-friendly, yet entertaining, plot the play was a big hit amongst all who attended.

 The production was co-directed and produced by Kimberly Griffin and Jill Hackett.  Hackett commented, “Honk! sent a powerful message that resonated with everyone.  The show made us laugh and cry.  It taught us to “Hold Our Heads Up High” when things get rough, and it encouraged us to believe that being who we are should be good enough.  We are all worthy of love and respect—warts and all!”

Senior Ricky Dockray who portrayed Greylag, the head of geese squadron, commented,“It was a great experience to be in a show with such a powerful meaning. It was bittersweet– it being my last show–but I still had a great time.”

Freshman Kevin Bergen who acted as Ugly said, “I’m so glad I got to be part of a show that shared such an important meaning about the negative effects of bullying.  It was a great experience being able to play the lead role as a Freshman!”

Freshman Michael Carone who plays the alto saxaphone said, “I had a great time playing in the pit orchestra and will definitely be involved with next year’s production.”

 The show follows the adventure of Ugly, played by Freshman Kevin Bergen, the well-meaning young chick who is constantly ridiculed by those around him for his so-called ugly appearance.  After taking longer than usual to hatch, it isn’t long before the other birds in the yard notice something amiss about Ugly, and they are quick to point this out. Only Ida, the mother duck, shows no mind to Ugly’s differences and accepts him as part of the family.

 Although he has been warned of the danger of cats, Ugly is soon lured away from his home by the local tom cat, portrayed by Senior Dustin Scully, whose interest is purely cuisine driven. After escaping from the Cat, Ugly finds himself lost and unable to find his way home.  As he wanders, consistently running into the Cat who is set on making Ugly a meal, Ugly meets a whole cast of unusual characters.  These include a military-esque flock of geese, a domesticated feline and chicken, an enchanting swan, and a boisterous bullfrog.  These characters all help Ugly find his way home whether through physical directions or, more often, life guidance. As the play progresses and Ugly searches for his mother and home, the audience witnesses Ugly’s maturity.

 All hope seems lost when Ugly is trapped by a notorious human, then freed by the Cat on the condition that after being led home to see his mother one last time he will consent to being the Cat’s meal.  Ugly reluctantly agrees but then apparently perishes alongside the Cat during the brutal winter.  Ida eventually discovers Ugly and with the help of nearby swans, revives him.  It is then revealed that, after all, Ugly is not an ugly duckling but rather a misunderstood swan. Ugly is reunited with a fellow swan, met previously, and the two move back to the yard to be with Ugly’s family. The story exemplifies the importance of self-acceptance and the value of being different.  As Ugly says towards the end of the show, “I like being different, I like being me!”

Honk! was phenomenal and the extraordinary effort of all participants in the production of the show was evident.  All of Hawthorne High School is now caught in eager anticipation for next year’s show which is sure to be great!

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