DORSET - Audiences of all ages will get a fresh look at an old favorite this weekend when the Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) and more than 50 local students present an original country western adaptation of the classic fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast." Beauty Lou is the oldest daughter of the bronc-bustin' balladeer Buck. At the local county fair, young Beauty Lou is upset by the ungrateful behavior of a miner who has won the blue ribbon for his beautiful roses. She calls him a beast and wishes that he would look like one too. Years later, when in danger of losing the family farm, Buck meets the miner-turned-beast. Beauty Lou agrees to befriend the Beast in order to save her family. Beauty Lou and the Beast both learn to look beyond appearances and first impressions and to see the beauty that dwells inside. The story, set in the American West, also features Beauty Lou's six sisters, her Imaginary Friend, her dog Fleabite Clyde, farmhands Slim and Dusty, the neighborly Country Folk and the Barnyard Critters.
Performances will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will be presented at The Dorset Playhouse. Tickets are $10 for ages 11 and up and $5 for those 10 and under. Local children and students have been rehearsing with MCT tour directors all week to bring this play to life. The Missoula Children's Theatre is a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Mont. The residency in Dorset is made possible by the Dorset Players with help from community businesses and members. for more information, contact Sheila Conway at the Dorset Players' office between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., Monday-Friday at 802-867-5570 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.