‘Honk’ offers a musical version of ‘The Ugly Duckling’

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Southgate Community Players presents “Honk!” at 7 p.m. March 20, 21, 27 and 28 at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road in Southgate. The cast includes Joyce Fisher (left) of Riverview as Maureen and Mother Swan; Lara Keathley of Trenton as Ida; Rob Douglas of Brownstown Township as Drake and Greylag; Michael Parks of Taylor as the cat; Brad Hardecki of Woodhaven as Ugly; Paris Fisher, 10, of Riverview as Fluff Duckling and a froglet; Lincoln Park residents Rahne Olson, 9, as Beaky Duckling, Snow, a froglet, and Pink Foot, and Anastasia Pauli, 16, as Penny and Dot; and Domingo Guzman of Melvindale as a bullfrog, turkey, and Father Swan.

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Southgate Community Players presents “Honk!” at 7 p.m. March 20, 21, 27 and 28 at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road in Southgate. The cast includes Joyce Fisher (left) of Riverview as Maureen and Mother Swan; Lara Keathley of Trenton as Ida; Rob Douglas of Brownstown Township as Drake and Greylag; Michael Parks of Taylor as the cat; Brad Hardecki of Woodhaven as Ugly; Paris Fisher, 10, of Riverview as Fluff Duckling and a froglet; Lincoln Park residents Rahne Olson, 9, as Beaky Duckling, Snow, a froglet, and Pink Foot, and Anastasia Pauli, 16, as Penny and Dot; and Domingo Guzman of Melvindale as a bullfrog, turkey, and Father Swan.

Tickets are $13. For more information, call 734-282-4727 or go to scponstage.com.

Directed by Tina Brow of Flat Rock, the 23-member multi-generational cast offers a colorful rendition of the classic tale that teaches acceptance of differences without being preachy.

Ugly the Duckling looks very different from his brothers and sisters. The other farm animals notice and pass judgment, despite his mother’s protectiveness.

Ugly sets off on a journey of self-discovery, meeting many unique characters, outwitting a hungry cat, and learning that being different can be wonderful.

Brad Hardecki, 18, of Woodhaven, said he is having fun playing the Ugly Duckling.

“The constant jokes and the cast camaraderie definitely make it an entertaining role,” he said. Being 6 feet 3 inches tall and playing a small duckling, “it’s going to be quite humorous.”

He encourages families to come see the show to escape their daily cares for a few hours. The show runs 2 hours and 15 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission.

Lara Keathley of Trenton, who plays Ida, Ugly’s mother, said she is performing in a family show for the first time to share the stage with her niece Katelyn Keathley, 9, of Southgate, who is in the ensemble.

She said there are 21 songs in the show, and the cast barely leaves the stage during the first act.

“There is a song about the duck yard and how life is on the farm, and there is a song about being different, and that it’s OK to be different,” Keathley said, “and it kind of shows how it hurts people to tease or to be mean, so I like that part of it a lot. And at the end everybody kind of comes to the realization that ‘Oh, it’s not so bad to be different.’”

Keathley said “Honk” gives the traditional tale music and a modern twist.

“It gives kids a great moral about not picking on people who are different and it is OK and can actually be something that turns out to be incredible, like our swan.”

Domingo Guzman of Melvindale, who plays Father Swan, the turkey, and the bullfrog, said he likes being a part of a multi-age cast, and encourages parents to take their children to see a live show on stage.

“I like getting families to come together and instead of seeing a movie or playing a video game with each other, I want them to come see some live action theater,” he said, “and see if we can get the kids caught at a young age with live performing and get them on stage.”

Guzman said it is important for children to see actors in their element without them being pre-recorded, edited and enhanced with special effects.

He said children will enjoy the toe-tapping songs, while adults will appreciate their children learning important lessons in a fun and entertaining framework.

“I think it gives the kids the thought that ‘it doesn’t matter what I look like, as long as I’m happy and I have a family that actually cares for me,’” Guzman said.

Parents will enjoy the show as much as their children, said SCP president Chris Rollet of Southgate.

“It’s a very funny show,” Rollet said. “It’s much funnier than you would expect it to be, much cuter. It is very entertaining. The music is great. It is just a really enjoyable show for everybody.”

Others in the cast include Kellie Runkle of Allen Park as Grace and Queenie; Lincoln Park residents David Buhr as Jay Bird; Rahne Olson, 9, as Beaky Duckling, Snow, a froglet, and Pink Foot; and Anastasia Pauli, 16, as Penny and Dot; and Melvindale resident Connor Moran, 10, as Billy Duckling.

Also Riverview residents Paul Cagle, 16, as the Farmer; Sarah Cagle, 14, as Henrietta; Joyce Fisher as Maureen and Mother Swan; Paris Fisher, 10, as Fluff Duckling and a froglet; and Dylan Seets, 12, as Barnacles.

Also Rianna Rasizzi, 8, of Southgate in the ensemble; Michael Parks of Taylor as the cat; and Rachel Kerns of Trenton as Lowbutt.

Also Brownstown Township ensemble members Abbey Douglas, 7, and Emma Douglas, 11; Rob Douglas as Drake and Greylag; and Olivia Williams, 10, as Downy Duckling; ensemble member Sayda Getsoicn, 10, of Flat Rock; and Skylynn Whitefoot, 11, of Rockwood as Snowy Duckling.

DAG PRESENTS ‘THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY’

The Downriver Actors Guild presents “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” at 7:30 p.m. March 20, 21, 27, 28, and 3 p.m. March 22 and 29 at the Catherine A. Daly Theater on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle Ave. in Wyandotte.

Tickets are $10, and are available by calling 313-303-5269 or at downriveractorsguild.net.

DAG brings the children’s storybook to the stage in March to coincide with National Reading Month.

Directed by Nathan Vasquez of Allen Park, the story follows Stanley Lambchop, played by Joshua Primeau, 12, of Brownstown Township, as he becomes flat and stamped, and travels the world to exciting places like Hollywood, Paris and Hawaii, meeting interesting people and encountering adventures along the way.

Debbie Aue of Taylor is the musical director, with Kayla Chavez of Allen Park as the choreographer.

The cast includes Allen Park resident Phoebe Seguin Davenport, 9, as Stanley’s friend; and Lincoln Park residents Ella Ray, 11, in the ensemble; Grace Ray, 13, as reporter Herb Wavecrest; Alex Rosen, 16, as Mr. Lambchop; and Lily Steele, 11, as Stanley’s friend Jackson.

Also Riverview residents Isabella Owens, 9, as a Hollywood agent; Lily Pashke, 9, as a sneak thief; and Molly Pelke, 10, as Caleb.

Also Taylor residents Isabelle Greene, 11, as Cousin Sophie; Serena Griffiths, 12, and Morgan Griffiths, 10, as Cool Kids; Grace Harper, 11, as Stanley’s friend Jacob; Megan Harper, 11, as Nurse Betty, and as a Hollywood assistant; and Lacy Remisoski, 10, as Bikini Wahini.

Also Trenton residents Madalyn Bailey, 10, as a bird and Wanabee Go-Go dancer; and Julianna Schelffler, 14, as Dr. Dan, and O’Jay De Art.

Also Wyandotte residents Nora Keast, 10, as a Hollywood assistant; Mia Martin, 9, as the bulletin board; Cassidy McFarland, 10, as Napoleon; Nora Pepke, 13, as the King of the Cool Kids; Adia Pettigrew, 8, as Mona Lisa; and Eliana Pettigrew, 10, as Samantha.

Also Brownstown Township residents Megan Delorme, 11, in the ensemble; Leo Hellar, 12, as Arthur Lambchop; Marissa Jackson, 10, as the onstage assistant director; Brianne Rainey, 14, as Mrs. Lambchop; Alexandria Reeves, 13, as a bird and a go-go dancer; Kerstyn Reeves, 10, as Kiki the reporter; Natalie Reeves, 9, in the ensemble; and Elaina Primeau, 10, as postal carrier Mrs. Cartero.

PGD ‘TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’ A WONDERFUL PRODUCTION

The Players Guild of Dearborn’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which runs through March 22, is an outstanding production, with a talented cast and a wonderfully crafted set designed by David Reynolds.

Director Mike Moseley has made the most of the beloved story, and has brought out the best in his cast.

The children in the play – Jamie Paschke as Scout Finch, Leo Varitek as Jem Finch, and Peter Moore as Dill – are amazingly talented and natural actors.

Sydnee Rider is warm and likeable as she sets the tone as adult Scout, the show’s narrator, and Tom Vartitek is an affable, believable Atticus Finch.

The entire ensemble is strong and in character.  One becomes engrossed in the story, and moved by its emotions.

For tickets, call 313-561-TKTS, or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.

FISHER’S ‘FLASHDANCE’ FIZZLES IN SECOND ACT

“Flashdance,” at the Fisher Theater through March 22, is filled with musical nostalgia for baby boomers. The lead female, Karli Dinardo, and some of the character actors are wonderful, and the sets and lighting are amazing.

After a lively first act, the show fizzles out in the second act, and the ending, especially the dialogue, is lame.

The wanna-be comedian has a vocal solo, and can’t sing.

It is a dance show, and some of the supporting numbers were so-so. The male ballet dancers were awful. The two men in ballet vignettes appear not trained in classical ballet. Even their posture was off — shame on the choreographer Sergio Trujillo.

Some of the costumes were mediocre, and not double-checked before opening night.

The show is flashy and fun, with some slow and lame elements. If you have tickets already, enjoy theater light. Otherwise, save your money for the next big road show that appeals to you.