Roosevelt Middle School’s ‘Honk!’ embraces differences

Roosevelt Middle School in Blaine presents a fast-paced, fun play – Anthony Drewe’s “Honk! Jr.”

Roosevelt Middle School is set to stage “Honk! Jr.” based on “The Ugly Duckling” story. Among its 30 cast members are: Front row l. to r: Cat (Margaret Wehr), Ugly (Nick Hammond), Ugly’s mother, Ida (Breenna McCormick), and Maureen (Darby Burton). Back row: Penny (Melisa Dogic), Bullfrog (Nick Kiage) and Ugly’s father, Drake (Derick McLaughlin). Photo by Elyse Kaner

Roosevelt Middle School is set to stage “Honk! Jr.” based on “The Ugly Duckling” story. Among its 30 cast members are: Front row l. to r: Cat (Margaret Wehr), Ugly (Nick Hammond), Ugly’s mother, Ida (Breenna McCormick), and Maureen (Darby Burton). Back row: Penny (Melisa Dogic), Bullfrog (Nick Kiage) and Ugly’s father, Drake (Derick McLaughlin). Photo by Elyse Kaner

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling,” the show delivers the lesson that different is good and uniqueness should be embraced in everyone, said director Shanan Edelheit.

“I have been amazed at how strongly the kids have identified and embraced that idea,” he said. “We have a cast that is very representative of our overall student population, and to see them engage each other in conversations about who they are, where they come from and what makes each of them special is so encouraging.”

The story follows Ugly, a duckling, on a perilous journey where he meets a wily cat in search of dinner (namely Ugly), a beautiful swan named Penny and a particularly wise bullfrog. Ugly learns life lessons along the way, the main lesson being beauty comes from within. But what happens when Ugly is overcome by the elements and freezes in the snow? Stop by and see for yourself.

The show is adapted for the stage by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. “Honk!” premiered in London and won best new musical in 2000.

Thirty students in grades six through eight make up the Roosevelt cast. Michael Agre is music director. Neva Dalager is choreographer.

“Honk! Jr.”runs May 3, 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and May 4, 7 p.m. Adults $5 students and seniors $3. Children under the age of 3, free. Students admitted to May 3, 3:30 p.m. performance at no cost. Tickets at the door. Roosevelt Middle School, 650 125 Ave. N.E., Blaine. For more information, call 763-506-5800.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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