By: Cole Wasilow
Although Salisbury is a smaller school, we have some pretty fun things to offer, one of these being the Spring Musical. “Honk!” is the musical adoption of “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian.
The show has been done over 8,000 times, and won the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical. Surprisingly enough, the lead is taken by freshman Trent Renelli, which is very uncommon for a high school performance such as this one, but his singing allows him to stand out from the crowd. Some other lead roles include Dezi Correa and Shayna Trinidad playing the cat, and Mike Judge playing Drake. The music in this play is very impressive considering the amount of time the students had to rehearse; some of these include Wild Goose Chase, Joy of Motherhood and Poultry Tale.
Honk! Is a very popular performance throughout the United States due to its amazing set design and lessons of tolerance and resilience. This show wasn’t easy to get into, even for the audition, the students had to memorize one of the songs in the play and rehearse it in front of the director, music director, and the stage manager, and not everyone got called back the next day. The practices alone were at least four days a week for three hours, but in the final week or so, they would be at the school practicing for much longer. This show is very impressive, and almost everyone has the ability to see it, as tickets are only eight dollars.
Below is an interview with two of the musical’s stars, Sara and Jarell:
How much time did you spend practicing your roles?
Usually 4 days a week for 3 hours and some weekend rehearsals but once we reached tech week, we were at the school almost all day
Well, we went through the first phase of auditions which was preparing the music and singing in front of 4 people all by yourself. Some of us got called back the next day to sing more, but it is honestly so nerve-racking; more nervous getting the part we would’ve liked not really getting in.
Who are some examples of the characters in the play?
So, Trent Renelli is Ugly, Dezi Correa and Shayna Trinidad play the Cat, Mikey Judge plays Drake, Ugly’s dad, and I (Sara) play Ida, Ugly’s mom. The show is honestly mostly about the ensemble so we have to have a strong group to hold the show together; it isn’t all about the leads.
Michael Tiao says the line, “Stand back or I’ll peck,” and it’s honestly so funny. Jarell also says some fun lines such as, “I have a human in my throat,” when he plays the Bullfrog during ACT Two
What was it like playing your characters?
Sara: I play one of the leads, and the first whole act is basically me singing on stage, so it’s a very demand vocal role. I had a hard time learning Joy of Motherhood but it has finally come together once the orchestra came. My favorite song to sing is our opening number called Poultry Tale. The dance took forever to learn but it is so much fun and its super long, but we definitely got it down.
Jarell: Wild Goose Chase is one of the best songs to perform. The dance is a blast and at one point we even get to play kazoos. As the Bullfrog, I have a whole song that is basically all me called Warts and All so that was pretty difficult for me, but it’s a great time. Especially when everyone joins in later on.
Why should someone see ‘Honk!’?
Honk! Is honestly such a funny show that tells a great story of tolerance and resilience featuring an amazing set design. Our lead of the musical is also a freshman, Trent Renelli, which is surprising to have in a high school production, but he is an AMAZING singer. We have worked so hard to perfect this show and the cast and crew are exciting to put this beautiful and fun story on the stage! Overall, the show is a great presentation of the talents we have this year and everyone gets a chance to shine. For a small school, we have a great show to present and it’s going to be amazing, so don’t miss out!