Farmyard fun for the whole family, there was plenty to love about HONK! Jr., KCP’s first production of the 2012-13 season! Featuring a large cast of 34 youth, KCP’s Young Company production gave theatre-goers an enthusiastic performance and a relevant message to carry home: it’s ok to be different.

Imaginatively directed by Janet Ness, the contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale “The Ugly Duckling” was a wonderful musical celebrating inner beauty, true love and the differences in each of us.

“This season’s KCP Young Company have shown their tremendous talent with such an uplifting and energetic broadway-style performance” said Sandra Ballantyne, Producer. “We work with so many amazing young actors; their abilities and talents have grown so much during this rehearsal process. Fans of musical theatre in our region can look forward to seeing these kids for years to come in our Young Company productions!”

Strong, spirited Ida, played by Nicole Graham, showed her mettle when she was driven to leave the rest of her family in search of her lost son. Liam Bidmead played the innocent and mistreated Ugly with delightful sensitivity; he was sweetly naïve as he fought the advances of the sly, charming Cat played by Kelly Hay. As she sang, “Play with Your Food” she smoothly and comedically convinced Ugly to climb into the oven as she prepared their lunch. Jarrett Stoll, The Bullfrog, won the audience over as he sang “Warts and All“, heartily trying to boost Ugly’s ego with frog jokes. Without a doubt, the audience will remember the many frogs lending exuberant background vocals around the pond.

With colorful scenery and dance, Janet Ness’ set design and Kieren Day’s energetic choreography creatively took us through fall into winter with imaginative flow. Add the peppy and uplifting songs performed under the musical direction of Chris Ness, HONK! Jr. captivated the audience from beginning to end without intermission.

The evening performance held on Saturday November 10 received adjudication by the Association of Community Theatres, Central Ontario (ACT-CO). ACT-CO is a regional not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting, encouraging and promoting community theatre.

Annually, the organization holds a festival celebrating theatrical performances in the categories of comedies, dramas and musicals. During festival season, theatres from across the region are eligible to enter a production into one of the three categories. An ACT-CO adjudicator will attend one night of each entered production and provide adjudication on all of the areas of the performance: the acting, the direction, the design, and the technical elements. Praise, constructive criticism, and useful techniques are all provided to assist the group with future productions.

At the end of the festival, each adjudicator chooses nominees and recipients of awards, called “Theas”, presented in categories recognizing a variety of artistic achievements, including Best Production. These awards are announced and presented at the annual ACT-CO Gala; a wonderful celebration of community theatre across the region

Thom CurrieThom Currie was the ACT-CO adjudicator for Saturday night’s performance. Audience members were welcome to stay and listen to a short review of the show. The cast and production team then received a detailed adjudication. He felt the show had “solid energy” and was impressed with the cohesiveness between the sets, costumes and props. He praised the chorus members for how well they “changed characters” when they “changed costumes.” The session was an interactive and encouraging experience placing KCP in contention to receive nominations for the awards gala at the end of the festival.

Kempenfelt Community Players are very pleased to have Thom Currie return to the Georgian Theatre on Friday February 15 to adjudicate the musical production of Spamalot.

HONK! Jr. was performed at the Barrie’s Georgian Theatre, November 9 – 11, 2012. The run consisted of 7:00 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

KCP is proud to produce musicals with such an incredibly hardworking cast, crew and production team.

HONK! JR. was made possible through strong community partnerships and key sponsorships. Key sponsors include: Rhubarb Media, the Barrie Examiner, B101, FM93, Kwik Kopy, Rogers TV, The City of Barrie and The Ontario Trillium Foundation.