Our Fall production is:

“Honk! Jr.” is a re-telling of Hans Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” that has a wide range of interesting characters and outstanding songs (go to www.mtishows.com/honk-jr for a full cast list and to listen to all the songs). It also has a very important message about what it’s like to be different.

The show is all about Ugly, who doesn’t look at all like his darling duckling brothers and sisters. Ida, his mother, who loves him in spite of his strange appearance, tries to tell him that it’s all right to be different, but she knows that life is going to be hard for him. Almost everyone in the barnyard makes fun of Ugly, including his father, Drake, who thinks that Ugly is actually a turkey.

His duckling brothers and sisters won’t play with him, and even try to stop him sharing in the bread that people throw in the duck pond. Feeling sad and lonely and desperate for a friend, Ugly agrees to go for lunch with the Cat, not realizing that he (Ugly) is to be the main course. Fortunately he manages to get away from the Cat, but then finds that he doesn’t know the way back to the Duckyard.

Trying to find his way home, Ugly meets up with a flock of geese led by the pompous Greylag, who is a washed-up British military type. Greylag and his wife, Dot, are kind to Ugly and promise to help him find his way back home. Unfortunately hunters start shooting at the geese, the flock is scattered, and Ugly is on his own once again.

Still trying to find his way home to his mother, Ugly rescues a beautiful young swan, Penny, who has become tangled in some fishing line. She realizes that Ugly is a swan, but of course she doesn’t know that he thinks he a duck. She really likes him and invites him to fly south with her flock. He sadly declines, because he still wants to find his mother, and she leaves – promising to come back to find him in the spring. Ugly can’t believe that someone so beautiful would bother with him, and knows that he will never see her again.

Now feeling even worse about himself, Ugly is about to settle into a deep depression when a Bullfrog happens along and cheers him up with an optimistic song. Then the Cat appears and offers to show Ugly the way home. Ugly doesn’t trust him but knows he will never find the way by himself.

Meanwhile, Ida has left the Duckyard in search of Ugly, leaving Drake to take care of the ducklings. It is now winter, and Ugly and the Cat run into a blizzard and end up lying exhausted in the snow. This is when Ida finds them, and rescues Ugly from the snowbank – only to discover that he has now grown into a beautiful swan.

The three make it back to the Duckyard, where everyone welcomes Ugly as a swan. Ugly is still different from everyone else, but as he has come into his own as an adult swan he has gained in confidence and no longer feels ashamed of being different. When Penny shows up in the spring, the two decide they want to be together and that Ugly should fly away with her and the flock to learn all about being a swan. Ida is sad that he is leaving, but only wants the best for him. However, Ugly and Penny have a surprise for her: they have decided they will stay in the Duckyard and be the very first swans on the duckpond.

Performance dates for “Honk! Jr.” are November 23-25 and November 30-December 2.