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L.A. Beat

The Sissy Duckling shows different is good

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The Sissy Duckling is finally ready to fly.

Theatre Outré presents the long delayed production of the Sissy Duckling, Feb. 26-March 5 in the Casa community room.

Nicola Elson adapted Harvey Fierstein’s children’s book into a musical.

Rylan Kunkel, Devon Brayne, Erica Barr and Shannon  Murphy  star in The Sissy Duckling. Photo by Richard Amery


“It’s an original musical based on  Harvey Fierstein’s popular children’s book,” summarized Theatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead, adding  it is about a duckling who doesn’t fit in with the other ducklings.


“He likes to sing, he likes to dance, he likes to bake and because of that, he’s treated poorly by the other ducklings.


  The show has been postponed twice because of Covid, the only actor not able to participate this time from the original cast was Greg Wilson. The show features several familiar faces, including New West Theatre veterans Rylan Kunkel and Devon Brayne, who was recruited to fill Wilson’s spot as well as Theatre Outré veteran Erica Barr and Calgary actress Shannon Murphy.


 “ It was supposed to run in March 2020 before everything happened,” Whitehead said.


“So we’re excited to welcome everybody,” Whitehead said.


White said the play is the centre piece of a trimmed down Quaint, Quirky and Queer.

“ We’re only having the three events this year, including  the play at Casa, the cabaret which is in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb. 26 and a special Drunk Improv at 7 p.m. at Didi’s Playhaus, March 5.


 Nicola Elson is excited to turn A Sissy Duckling into a musical.


“ I love theatre for young people and  when I read A Sissy Duckling, I thought it would a  great, sensitive story about being different and would be a great theatre for young people show so I contacted Harvey Fierstein and his management  were so excited, they didn’t even charge us for the rights,” she  enthused.


“ And when I read it again, I thought it would make a great musical,” she said adding she looked for strong musicians for the cast.


Rylan Kunkel, Devon Brayne, Erica Barr and Shannon  Murphy  star in The Sissy Duckling. Photo by Richard Amery

“ I told them I thought we could create the music together, which could have turned out terrible, but it turned out great,” Elson said.

 In addition to the music, there is a lot of activity, colour and props such as umbrellas which  play multiple roles.


“There can’t be a lot of dialogue in theatre for young people, so this production is very physical. It is for all ages,” she continued, adding the play reflects the themes of acceptance and that being different is a good thing.

“ It’s about how it is okay to be unique and different, Elson said.


 The Sissy Duckling runs in the Casa Community room, Feb. 26- March 5 at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is pay what you can.

— By Richard Amery , L.A. Beat Editor

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