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Hit musical hatches at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse with timely message for the season

WATERLOO REGION - Gather your flock and waddle over to St. Jacobs Country Playhouse this holiday season for a fun-filled family musical that celebrates what makes each of us unique.

Winner of multiple international awards, Honk! brings the beloved story of The Ugly Duckling to life – complete with dancing frogs, a conniving cat and an adorable duckling hero who defies expectations.

Honk!  is on stage at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from Nov. 29 to Dec. 24.

“Honk! has a timely message that celebrates individuality and inclusivity,” said Alex Mustakas, artistic director of Drayton Entertainment.

“It’s delivered through lovable, colourful characters and a fun, timeless story packed with energetic dance numbers and entertaining songs that make for an uplifting theatre experience for audiences of all ages.”

Since it first hatched, Honk! has been a splash hit with audiences around the world.

The inspiring family musical defied the odds beating out both Mamma Mia! and The Lion King for London’s coveted Olivier Award for Best Musical in 2000.

Since then, the endearing musical comedy about being true to yourself has been translated into multiple languages and produced at thousands of theatres around the globe.

Written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the award-winning team behind the stage adaptation of Mary Poppins, Honk! follows late-hatcher Ugly, who isn’t quite the same as his fluffy yellow siblings - a point that isn’t lost on the other animals on the farm. While Ugly’s father Drake rejects his awkward fledgling, mother Ida sees something more in the little duck.

After being lured away from his home by a wily Cat, he embarks on a quest to find his mother.

With the help of a few new friends (including a comical troupe of geese and a jovial bullfrog), his journey home becomes both an exciting coming-of-age adventure and an exuberant celebration of being different!

Featuring fun-filled musical numbers like Hold Your Head Up High, Warts and All, and Transformation, this tuneful, witty retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling is sure to ruffle your feathers and inspire you to embrace what makes you special.

The fairy tale production is in the capable hands of director and choreographer David Connolly, who has directed many shows for Drayton Entertainment including last season’s hit holiday musical Cinderella: The Panto. Connolly is joined by music director Steve Thomas, set designer David Boechler, costume designer Rachel Berchtold, and lighting designer Kaileigh Krysztofiak.

An impressive cast of seasoned Canadian performers has been assembled for this production including Nathan Carroll as the irrepressible duckling, Ugly.

Carroll inspired audiences as Terry Fox in Marathon of Hope: The Musical for Drayton Entertainment.

Susan Gilmour is the devoted mother duck Ida. Gilmour previously captivated audiences as the Mother Superior in Sister Act and as Marilla in Anne of Green Gables.

Kyle Blair, who previously entertained audiences as Phil Davis in White Christmas, returns to St. Jacobs Country Playhouse to play the scheming Cat. Blair is a regular at the Shaw Festival and recently appeared in Me and My Girl and Androcles and the Lion.

Fresh off his performance as Lonny in Rock of Ages at the Dunfield Theatre Cambridge, Aaron Walpole takes on the role of the enthusiastic bullfrog, among other characters. Walpole has appeared in Les Misérables and Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway and the national tour of Kinky Boots.

Veteran performers Larry Mannell, Charlotte Moore and Susan JohnstonCollins take on several roles in the production including Ugly’s disapproving father Drake, and the gossipy hens Grace and Maureen, respectively.

Rachel Babor, Eric Da Costa, Sam DiGuiseppe, Sarah Higgins, Kayla James, Tim Porter, Margaret Thompson, and Christine Watson round out the cast who bring this funny farmyard to life on the stage.

Drayton Entertainment has also engaged 28 of the best and brightest local young performers as the children’s chorus; they will rotate in two teams of 14.  

Tickets are $46 for adults and $27 for youth under 20 years of age. Tickets for groups of 20 or more and select discount dates are $37.   HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased online at, in person at the box office or by calling 519-747-7788 or toll free at 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866).

November 17, 2017


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