"I can't understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!" said Mother Duck as she looked at her last born...
Most people know the story of "The Ugly Duckling," written by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875). Lakeshore Productions, Inc. told that tale during the summer of 2010 when the musical Honk! came to the Random Lake High School stage.
It's the story of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until — much to his delight (and to the surprise of others) — he matures into a graceful swan.
Honk! offered roles for many cast members — ducks, geese, chickens, frogs, cats, basically an entire barnyard. The musical has 22 songs, lots of dancing, and it's described as a show that the whole family can enjoy.
Cast in the lead role of the Ugly Duckling was Brian Falk, and his parents were played by the sister-brother team of Jen Ross (Ida) and Robert Ross (Drake). Taylor Smith returned to LPI as the show’s villain, the mischievous Cat. Other major characters included domesticated cat Queenie (Robin Fritche), domesticated chicken Lowbutt (Maureen Schommer), leader duck Grace (Katherine Kruger), the wise Bulldog (Bob Eichner), and commanders of the formation-flying geese, Greylag (Bob Eichner) and Dot (Doris Feider-Schlenvogt).
James J. Lentz, Jr., of Milwaukee directed the 2010 summer show. Since 1996 he was director, assistant director or music director of 33 shows in the Milwaukee area. Lentz became the 10th director to work with Random Lake’s summer theater program. Other staff members included assistant director Stephanie Broughton, technical director Matt Carr and choreographer Veronica Hilke.
"The Ugly Duckling" was first published in 1843 with three other tales by Andersen in Copenhagen, Denmark, to great critical acclaim. The tale has been adapted to various media including opera, plays, and animated film. The tale is completely Andersen's invention — the story does not come from other folklore. Honk! made its debut in Great Britain in 1993, and its U.S. debut was in 2001.
Lakeshore Productions, Inc., was one of the first community theater groups in southeastern Wisconsin to perform Honk!