Mickey Lubeck has wanted to stage the musical Honk!, a retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale of The Ugly Duckling, for several years but she always received a negative response from her students at the Musical Theatre Workshops. They thought the show was just for little kids.
“I tried to get across to them it’s a story that the little bitty ones as well as adults will enjoy,” said Lubeck, who swayed her students in her direction. Honk! will be presented at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Greenbrier High School.
Wooing them to her side wasn’t too difficult once she found the right tactic, she said. She gave them a choice between two shows, letting them read excerpts and sing selections from each one.
“The songs are so lovely. I dare you not to cry,” she said.
Then, they reached the song that sealed the deal.
“I let them hear the song that Ugly (the main character) sings about being different. They all cried. It touched something inside them,” she said.
The exercise showed the kids that Honk! wasn’t what they thought and drove home a major message of the play – people aren’t always what they seem to be on the surface.
Lubeck’s son, Josh 16, plays the lead role of Ugly, and it’s a part he’s really enjoying.
“Most of my roles have been comedic,” he said. “This is my first serious role.”
Watching fellow cast members tear up during rehearsals shows Josh he’s on the right track.
“I feel I’m doing my job well,” he said.
The show isn’t all teary-eyed moments. There are comedic bits that children and adults will appreciate, said Mickey Lubeck.
The cast of Honk! includes 22 high school students from the Musical Theatre Workshops. The organization’s elementary and middle school students will be featured in Cinderella Confidential, The Assistant and Lady Pirates of Captain Bree at 2 and 7 p.m., May 18, at Greenbrier High School.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for those between the ages of 3 and 18.
For ticket information, call (706) 231-1759.