Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some words from the Ugly Duckling himself...

My name is Jeremy Adams, and in SMT's production of Honk! I play the leading role of Ugly, the aptly-named ugly duckling.

I am a martial artist who moved to Seattle a couple of years ago from Big Sky country of Montana, and over the past couple of years have been auditioning for local and professional musicals as a triple threat.

This is a very intriguing role for me as an actor, partly because the usual approach of method acting can be a bit tweaked due to the fact that Ugly's introduction on the stage is as a newborn.

No back story to make up there, at least until the second act, when several months have passed. The experiences seen in the first act are the very first ones that begin to create his character.

As far as quick changes go, I have an easier job than almost anyone else in the cast. All but three of the performers in the show are double or triple-casted, and have numerous costume changes, from duck to goose to frog back to duck, etc. The only costume change I have is during intermission, along with the snow-blinded transformation into a swan. Suffice to say, the amount of work you do is not always defined by which role you have ;)

Just as Ugly undergoes many changes during the show, I feel much more seasoned as a performer, which is largely in part to the fact that every actor is able to bring his or her own ideas to the show. This is one of my favorite things about Seattle Musical Theater in general, is the fact that creativity is encouraged and not repressed. Being able to bring one's own ideas to the table is, in my opinion, nothing but beneficial to the free spirit of any cast.

The children, of course, are the ones that sink into it the most, when the show is kid-friendly. But as we like to say, Honk! is an adult show disguised as a kids' show, as many of the hidden jokes would pass right over the young ones' heads, but be perfectly obvious to adult viewers.

You go through the rehearsal process, get used to all the jokes, laugh at the mistakes...then when performance time comes around and the audience is present, they begin laughing, and you nearly lose it onstage all over again simply due to their reactions.

As for the children...again, when the ugly duckling transforms into the swan, they absolutely love it, beginning to cheer and clap when the hope rises and the hero returns. A reaction like that is something I think every actor lives for.

There is now one weekend left, and the ugly duckling hopes you gain the opportunity to come and see it. We have a top-notch cast, high morale, and three more performances remaining to end the run with a bang! Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A couple of pictures

Here are a few shots from one of the last dress rehearsals. Come see the beautiful finished sets and costumes that Jason and Deane created for our wonderful cast.



Taking time to talk to us from our local watering hole...

Greetings to all. As you may or may not know, my name is Peter, and I'm performing the parts of Greylag and Drake.

A little background about me: I grew up in Seattle (went to Roosevelt High School), but a little over six years ago I decided to go to Texas for college (I know, I know...). After that I spent a year and a quarter on the East Coast working with a couple different theatre companies, and then moved back to Seattle just over a year ago.

In the past six months I've started looking for theatre work around town again, and so it seemed perfectly natural to audition for SMT, with its reputation for presenting strong musical theatre pieces. Working on Honk for the past month and a half has been a complete blast. If I had to say one thing that surprised me, it was the stuffing (not the Thanksgiving kind, talk to John about that). I knew that we were going to be padded, but when we actually had it all on, it forced a lot more changes to my physicality than I was expecting.

My favorite moment from opening weekend may seem a little odd to some, but I actually like it when things go just a little wrong. It forces me to think outside of the ruts that I may have gotten into and live in the moment fully. I'm not going to talk about the specific moment, but suffice it to say that something small happened, and it was enough to force that moment of new creation that can sometimes be hard to find in a show that you've done a dozen times. And honestly, it's when things happen that are unexpected that theatre really shines. A movie will be exactly the same no matter how many times you watch it. With live theatre, the unexpected happens, and then you get to see how the characters react to this situation that no one has ever seen before. We all try to keep those times to a minimum of course, for everyone's sanity. But when it happens, it can be a lot of fun.

Monday, November 9, 2009

From our very own Mother Goose...

My name is Erin and I'm playing a variety of ensemble roles in addition to Dot, a fun-loving goose who has to put up with her mostly-crazy husband, Greylag. I decided to audition for Honk not only because I was craving the chance to do another show (this is my 6th show at SMT) but because I love the music and story in this show. It covers so many different styles, has clever lyrics and very hummable melodies. Plus, I think the moral of the story, to appreciate people's differences, is one that is timeless and very appropriate for the world we live in.

There are so many moments in the show that I love, but I think the most powerful moment for me is the is the end of Act I when Ugly and Ida sing their duet. At this point in the show they are both searching for each other but neither one has given up hope that they will find each other. It helps that we we have two VERY talented people in these roles, but the way it was written, with their beautiful counter melodies; I just think is very powerful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And Now a Word from One of Our Ducklings...

I got to be in Jane Eyre last winter and loved it so much that I decided to try out for Honk!

I get to play a duckling (quack!), a froglet (ribbit!), and a goose (honk!...I think, but I'm not so sure anymore since that's the sound a swan makes).

Something that surprised me about the show is how funny it is (sometimes during rehearsal it's hard to hold back a laugh).

My favorite moment in the show is when I hatch as a duckling because it's nice to stretch my legs out after being cramped in my egg for so long.

Quack!, Ribbit!, Honk!??

-Alder S. (age 11)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Our Rehearsals Continue...

Once again, the TURKEY-CAM, has been back at rehearsals for Seattle Musical Theatre's production of HONK! The designers have joined us, and we are seeing incredible additions to the show at every rehearsal. The set is becoming a reality, our running crew is in place, the lights and projections are being added, costume fittings are occuring - all is coming together like water off a duck's back!

Here is Drake, singing about the duckyard in the show's opening.

Once hatched, the ducklings are taken to the lake for their first swimming lesson, by their father.

Ugly's swimming lesson is much more successful.

Come see HONK! at Seattle Musical Theatre, November 13 - 29, 2009!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Rehearsal Footage

The TURKEY-CAM brings you some long awaited rehearsal footage!

Our first video shows Ida, the Duck, and Maureen, the Moorhen, discussing why they put themselves through having children.

Next, we get another look at Ida. All her other ducklings have hatched and now she must wait for the BIG EGG. As large as the egg is, it is still hers... it's just "Different".

Ugly, the occupant of the BIG EGG, has met his family - and is teased and taunted by his brothers and sisters. His father thinks he is a turkey. (I mean, REALLY!) The barnyard has had its chance to poke fun at him as well. Ugly shares with us about being "Different"

Later, Ugly encounters Lowbutt, a domesticated Chicken, and Queenie, a domesticated Cat. They share their not-so-politically-correct views of the world with Ugly.

The TURKEY-CAM will be busy at work over the next few days to bring you more footage from HONK!, The Ugly Duckling Musical.

Come see HONK! presented by Seattle Musical Theatre, November 13 - 29, 2009!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Honk Orchestra

Yesterday, the TURKEY-CAM was privileged to walk into the first orchestra rehearsal for HONK! This amazing group of musicians are busy rehearsing and fine tuning their parts. The orchestra, here is heard rehearsing "A Poultry Tale". In their "down" time. the orchestra members can be found playing gigs at the barnyard's local "nest-cafe", giving yet unheard "tweetment" to jazz standards. I have even heard rumors "flying" around the barnyard - apparently they have been offered a record deal by Polygram Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler Crackers. Their new record label is better known at "Poly Warner Cracker".

Come see HONK! at Seattle Musical Theatre, November 13 - 29, 2009