Heights Youth Theatre celebrates diversity with 'HONK!' musical

A message of love and tolerance resonates with folks of every age and background in HYT's production of "HONK!"

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to get 2016 off to a good start, consider attending Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of “HONK!” in January.

“HONK!” is a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Ugly Duckling.” The play will be performed at Monticello Middle School, 3665 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, and runs from Friday, Jan. 15, through Sunday, Jan. 24.

Directed by Kelly Monaghan, with music direction by Stacy Bolton, “HONK!” is set in a suburban farmyard, and features Ugly, a baby swan whose unusual looks cause prejudice among his family and their neighbors.

Separated from the farmyard, Ugly is chased by hungry Cat, and must find his way back to the farmyard. During his journey, Ugly discovers his true self, and wins both love and acceptance from his former detractors.

From the opening number, “A Poultry Tale,” this musical comedy brings to life Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless story in a way that is relevant to people of all ages and backgrounds.

HYT’s production of “HONK!” features 52 players in grades 1-12, from Shaker Heights, Twinsburg, Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Lyndhurst, South Euclid, East Cleveland, Cleveland, Gates Mills, Solon and Russell Township.

Lead cast members include Colin Frothingham as Ugly, James Berner as Cat, and Emma Sedlak as Ida. Stage manager Samantha Truesdell coordinates all the moving parts to bring this production to life.

Performances will be held Friday evenings at 7 p.m., Saturday evenings at 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $9 for seniors and children under 6. The box office opens 45 minutes prior to each show. For more information, visit www.heightsyouththeatre.org. For group seating information, contact Ellen at 216-780-2235.

Attending HYT’s performances supports theatrical arts in the Heights. For more than 60 years, Heights Youth Theatre has been offering kids year-round opportunities to hone their theatrical skills and entertain audiences. Most first-time theatergoers are surprised by the caliber of the work: “It’s like Broadway in the Heights!”

For more information about ways to support HYT and theatrical arts in the Heights, go to www.heightsyouththeatre.org.

Les Proctor

Les Proctor is a Cleveland Heights resident and a huge fan of Heights Youth Theatre.  

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 3:40 PM, 12.30.2015