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"Honk" wades into deep end of bullying pool

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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A kid who just doesn?t fit in is bullied and teased, but ends up on top in this touching re-telling of The Ugly Duckling in ?Honk!? at Three Stages in Folsom. The El Dorado Musical Theatre production boasts a large cast, two in fact, dubbed ?sunny side? and ?scrambled.? Two constants are Zach Wilson as the title character Ugly and Justin Harvey as Drake, the dad. Don?t expect to see kids running around in animal costumes. The animal characteristics are subtle ? baseball caps or visors for duck bills, a frilled shirt for the turkey and a wild wig for the cat. My two co-reviewers (Cian, 14, and Parker, 12) said they loved the show, which we caught on opening night featuring the ?scrambled? cast. There were three standouts for me ? Madison Sykes as Ida, Ireland Bonds as Cat and Annika Tamaki as Bullfrog. Sykes, 14, displays acting chops far beyond her years. And it?s no wonder, considering this is her 22nd show with El Dorado Musical Theatre. Tenderness, grace and an amazing voice make her the perfect choice to play the mother to Ugly. Bonds, 12, attends Sutter Middle School and this is her 16th time on the stage with EDMT. She did a great job as Cat, the nemesis of Ugly. Tamaki, 9, is a riot as Bullfrog. It?s hard to believe she?s only in elementary school. I expect to see more from this young lady. This was also her EDMT debut. The one actor who really carried the show is 12-year-old Zach Wilson. He?s often on stage, singing and dancing, or portraying a depth and range of emotion that easily touches the audience. ?Honk!? is suitable for the entire family and I highly recommend it. ----- KNOW AND GO ?Honk!? by El Dorado Musical Theatre When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, through July 22 Where: Three Stages, 10 College Parkway, Folsom Tickets: $12-$20 Info: threestages.net, edmt.info Rating: 5 out of 5 stars