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Madison Re-sounds with 'Honk'

"HONK! I'm a goose!" has become a popular phrase in the Madison High School performing arts department since early this year. These enthusiastic students, as many would presume, are not in fact deviously aggravating substitute teachers. Instead they're channeling their energy towards more positive activities like Madison's upcoming musical "HONK!"

"HONK," a new musical, proves possibly the opposite of last year's risqué hit "Chicago." After being revised multiple times from its 1993 premiere in England, "HONK" debuted at the National Theatre in 1999. George Stiles and Anthony Drewes' "HONK" is the musical version of Hans Christian Andersen's classic story "The Ugly Duckling." "HONK" is a beautiful story about accepting differences and showing the importance of everyone's inner beauty, because the true beauty of a person only lies within.

Working with a clean slate, Madison has plenty of room to play and create an innovative performance. With that in mind director Natalie Vandever has taken this opportunity to reach out to the future of the Madison stage and make this performance a true community event. Over 30 phenomenal elementary school students from local schools flood the hallways weekly to prepare for their performances as ducklings and froglets. Alongside these pint-sized stars shine some familiar Madison faces. Sophomore Mallory Forbes will grace the stage as leading fowl — I mean lady — Ida, Ugly's mother. Her son, Ugly, will be played by veteran senior Steve Hock, also seen as Amos in "Chicago." The eclectic cast is full of well-known faces like Montana Brown, Sara Kern, Grant Cloyd, and Sam Ludwig, who are joined by an array of anxious newcomers.

"HONK" will run April 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and May 1 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the James Madison High School Theatre. "HONK" tickets will be available in advance through student lunches, any cast or crew member, or during the April 27 dress rehearsal from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in front of the Madison auditorium for a discounted price of $8. Tickets can also be received at the door for $10.

Will Ugly remain ugly forever? You'll have to come and see at Madison's performance, so start practicing your — "HONK!"