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HONK! @ Clayton HS

Clayton High School brought to the stage "A Poultry Tale" of laughter, memorable characters, and a classic story with their production of HONK! The performance was riveting from start to finish with the audience giving it a well deserved standing ovation!

Based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, "The Ugly Duckling," HONK! tells the tale of personal transformation and finding one's place in the world. Ugly (Elijah Ortiz) is born into a family of ducks who cannot look past his odd appearance, making him feel very insecure about himself. However, he and everyone else he encounters learn that appearances do not define who someone is; a message that is just as relevant now as it was in 1843.

Overall, the performance was spectacular! What really stood out was the fact that the characters looked more human than animal-like. This was a very unique twist because it enables the show to be more relatable as the characters seem like people. In addition, the cast had infectious energy. With a small cast of only 12, many actors had to take on multiple roles. However, they were able to make such a complicated task look easy!

The lead actors in this production were phenomenal. Elijah Ortiz commanded the stage with his excellent vocals and ability to make every comedic moment land. In addition, his character was very relatable; many people are forced to overcome personal insecurities and judgment from others. Ortiz was able to capture that and display it excellently onstage. Raquel Ponce (Ida), had an angelic voice, and she was perfect for a motherly character! The chemistry between these two was astounding; it was obvious they were very close, and they had a believable mother and son relationship!

No cast is complete without supporting characters and the ensemble, and this show absolutely delivered! William Pedrick (Drake), had the audience hooting and hollering with his dad jokes and one liners! He was able to make everyone "Look at Him" every time he took the stage. In addition, Jordyn Rubinsky captured the essence of a classic storybook villain to a "T" in her role as The Cat. She dominated the stage with her stellar vocals and excellent comedic timing. Despite many ensemble members playing multiple roles, it was not difficult to distinguish between different characters. There were times when there could have been a tad more articulation, but those moments were very rare. The ensemble was a pivotal and unforgettable part of this show!

The technical aspect added another layer of wonder to this production. The lighting in particular was a marvel. The light cues were smooth and clean, and they always reflected the mood and atmosphere of a particular scene. It felt as though the audience were actually part of the story! In addition, the set design was simple yet effective, proving that less is definitely more! There were a few hiccups in the scene changes at times, but they did not detract from the performance. The technical crew definitely brought their "A" game to the table!

To conclude, Clayton High School's production of HONK! brought a more modern, relatable twist to a classic story. With its stellar cast and fantastic technical elements, it is certainly a show that is able to bring more depth and personification to simple animal characters. HONK! shows audiences that being different or odd can be a wonderful thing!

About the Author

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Program Director - FY20 Season


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