BRUNSWICK – Maine State Music Theatre will present “Honk!,” its second Theatre for Young Audiences show of the season, Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 19-20. The musical is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” and is a shortened version of the full-length show that won an Olivier Award in 2000 for Best Musical.

“Honk!” follows the story of Ugly, a newly hatched duckling who looks much different than his siblings and his mother, Ida, who is determined to accept her son for who he is. When Ugly accidentally becomes separated from his family, he embarks on a journey home populated by creatures ranging from a squadron of geese dedicated to locating Ida to a cat who’d like to make a meal of the different-looking duckling.

His adventure is set to an ear-catching score, with songs like “A Poultry Tale,” “Look at Him,” “Wild Goose Chase,” and “Warts and All.”

The musical take on the familiar children’s tale comes from the creative team of Anthony Drewe and George Stiles, who have worked on such musicals as “Peter Pan,” “Mary Poppins” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

“The principal theme of the show is clearly the acceptance of others who may appear different for whatever reason,” said Drewe. “The main message that we wanted the audience to go away with was that being different is OK. It is something to be welcomed, embraced and celebrated rather than feared, misunderstood or persecuted.”

“Honk!” is produced and performed by the MSMT intern company. This year, 11 performance interns and 13 technical, management and administrative interns designed, constructed and rehearsed the show under the guidance of show and intern director Connie Shafer.

Sean Bell, a native of Redbank, N.J., stars as Ugly alongside New York City’s Blair Anderson as Ida. Roderick Tyson Borden and Sam Weber star as Drake and Cat, supported by an ensemble cast of nine interns, three MSMT staff members and eight local children.

Performances are at 10 a.m. Aug. 19 and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Aug. 20. Tickets range from $7 to $11 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 725-8769 or visiting www.msmt.org.


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