Every family and group has one—the person they call black sheep, odd man out, odd fish, the one everybody loves to rip apart for no reason other than daring to be outside the norm. “Collective fear,” Bertrand Russell once said, “stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” It’s an innate part of our vocabulary that governs much of our social life and beyond. To Hans Christian Anderson, the master of the fairy tale without the happily ever after, this feeling of alienation was immortalized as The Ugly Duckling. To British duo Anthony Drewe and George Stiles this standout is translated in Honk!, their award-winning PG adaptation of the Anderson classic that plays next week at the Off-Broadway Christian Theater in Corona. Ugly, who is born to Ida and judgmental deadbeat dad Drake, announces his arrival to the material world with a boisterous “Honk!” Less than handsome, with a voice as grating to those around him as their disgust is to himself, Ugly endures life as the outsider always looking in. Like brave Pinocchio, Ugly embarks on a journey of discovery and redemption. At the end, we learn beauty is in the eye of the beholder and respecting individual differences does lead to a richer and more rewarding life. Black sheep rule!
Honk! plays at the Off-Broadway Christian Theater at the Inland Vineyard, 935 N. McKinley, Corona, (951) 264-5764; www.obctheater.org. September 17-20 (all shows 7PM, except Sept. 20, 4:30PM). $5.