honk-3Michael Genet as Bullfrog, center with the Froglets in the TRTC production of ‘Honk!” (Photo by T. Charles Erickson. Click to enlarge)


Old European superstition has it that animals are granted the gift of speech on midnight every December 25. Here in Red Bank, we needn’t go too far into December for certain critters to get positively chatty.

The team at Two River Theater Company has been busily gearing up for the launch of the annual family show production at their branded Bridge Avenue artspace — a recently minted tradition that’s promoted literacy, community and the all-around advancement of talking animals.

It’s a tradition that kicked off in earnest with 2008?s Frog and Toad, continued with Snoopy and friends in 2009?s Charlie_Brown, and upped the ante on interspecies communication with last year’s people-and-puppets production of Charlotte’s Web.

The latter two were directed by Philadelphia’s Matt Pfeiffer, and both featured frequent Two River player Doug Hara (Our Town, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Beginning with the first in a series of student matinee previews on Tuesday, December 6, actor and director team up once more for a project that promotes a musical message of tolerance, diversity and understanding, as put forth by a gaggle of eloquent fowl, frogs and felines — HONK!, a fresh and tuneful take on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the Ugly Duckling.

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