Book And Lyrics By Anthony Drewe
Music By George Stiles

Directed by Jacob Sudbrink
July 16 to 25, 2010

Read the Review: WaukeshaNOW

Click on a photo to see a larger image

Photos By Carroll Studios Of Photography

Volunteer of the Production

Catie Tarr

Ryan Albrechtson, Alex Barroso, Melissa Betters, Mike Bevis, Casey Blackwood, Paul Burkard, Samantha Burkard, Ruth Caves, Jennifer Clark, Courtney Collingwood, Karin Cunningham, Josh De La Paz, Kaitlyn Downing, Amanda Ferrito, Amanda Garcia, Gary Griepentrog, Miale Griepentrog, Gavin Gross, Miranda Gross, Emilie Grunfelder, Betsey Heintz, Becky Katka, Mark Katka, Matt Katka, Ariel Klink, Stephanie LaChance, Bjorn Larson, Micholas Libesch, Mary Melter, Connor O’Hara, Isaiah Reynolds, Sarai Reynolds, Bobby Schmeling, Carley Schreiber, Gabe Smith, Nicole Smith, Catie Tarr, Emily Thompson, Alie Velcheck, Mallorey Wallace, Capri Whiteley, and Lyssa Yehle.

Production Staff:
Jacob Sudbrink is the Director, Music Director, and Sound Designer. The production staff and crew includes: Costume Designer Sallie Burkard, Co-Stage Manager Samantha Burkard, Lighting Designer Scott Fudali, Choreographer Jessica Hayes, Scenic Designer, Master Carpenter, and Set Decorator A.J. Simon, Properties Designer Shawn Spellman, and Co-Stage Manager Kavyn Tarnowski.

'Honk!' fills the 'bill' for summer family fun

WCT's delightful musical is one for the birds

By Marilyn Jozwik
Posted: July 20, 2010

It's a simple show that doesn't take a lot to pond-er and the jokes really do fly, causing the audience to frequently quack up.

Waukesha Civic Theatre's "Honk!" - a little musical loaded with colorful characters, charming tunes, and a gaggle of poultry puns with a story hatched from the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling" - is more fun than a family picnic egg toss. And speaking of families, it is fine family fare.

WCT starts with a simple canvas - a big red barn, the suggestion of a marsh and a blue "pond" on stage -- and then adds layers of color as a parade of ducklings and geese, frogs and fish, cats and turkeys, one pluckier than the next, march into the scene.

We are introduced to "Ugly" (Ryan Albrechtson), the strange-looking "duck" hatched by Ida (Emily Thompson) after four cute ducklings emerge from the big eggs on stage, early in the show. Ugly not only looks completely different from his siblings, but his unmistakable "honk" makes him even more of an outcast. Ugly is lured from home by the ne'er-do-well Cat, but when he escapes and tries to find his way back home he becomes lost. On his journeys he meets many marsh inhabitants who teach him some valuable life lessons.

Albrechtson, a junior at Waukesha South High School, takes to this role like a duck to water. His wide-eyed innocence, naiveté and vulnerability make his character delightfully charming. His nimbleness in the dance numbers, plus a fine, full tenor voice make his performance a complete success.

As Ida, mother of five, Thompson takes on just the right maternal qualities without being saccharine. She sings sweetly from the heart in tunes that define her motherhood such as "Every Tear a Mother Cries" and "Hold Your Head Up!" and keeps her wayward mate, Drake (Paul Burkard), from flying the coop.

What really give this show its extra boost of energy are a quartet of zany characters and a whole flock of kids of all sizes who are a delight to watch during song-and-dance numbers - and not just for Grandma and Grandpa.

Isaiah Reynolds, a 14-year-old who attends Horning Middle School, gives a most mature performance as the menacing Cat. In "Play With Your Food," he displays his showmanship and stage presence, but is sometimes a bit hard to understand as he tries to manage all the fast-paced lyrics.

In "Wild Goose Chase," Mike Bevis is hilarious as he infuses his character, Greylag, with a haughty British aviator persona while his mate, Dot, played by Becky Katka, complements him well. The Goose Troop kids are so much fun as they line up a la "Sound of Music" before the Captain von Trapp-like Greylag and then "fly" their way in V-formation through the number.

The second half is even more fun than the first, starting with the cat, Queenie (Betsey Heintz), and the hen, Lowbutt (Lyssa Yehle), in "It Takes All Sorts." Heintz's cat-like moves work well as she slinks through a sultry "Together" with Reynolds.

Just when you thought you'd seen all the goofy characters, out jumps Bullfrog (Bobby Schmeling), slickly wielding his green cane as he struts through "Warts and All" with Ugly. Schmeling sells his Bullfrog character with the élan of a fast-talking used car salesman - and the audience loves it.

Director Jacob Sudbrink does a fine job with his big cast of 34, mostly kids, who travel quickly and quietly through scene changes and keep set pieces moving with minimal delay.

Unfortunately, "Honk!" suffers from lack of name recognition, which is too bad. With its cartoon-like characters it is great fun for kids, while its layer of double entendres and clever lyrics will keep adults happy as well.

For fine summer family fare, "Honk" definitely fills the "bill"!

Volunteer of the Production - Catie Tarr

Catie was driving force during this show. She often assisted in ways that went well beyond what is normally required. She is a caring and considerate individual. She did whatever she could to help the younger members of the cast. On top of performing wonderfully on stage, she also took responsibility for many things off stage. One cast member said "Catie always had a good spirit and was a great help!"