Storybook Theatre presents “The Ugly Duckling”

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Written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1843 The Ugly Duckling is a story of transformation, acceptance and healthy interrelationships. It told the story well then and now that extremely important message is being delivered every Saturday afternoon by the Storybook Theatre at Theatre West. I cannot think of a better tale to tell in these increasingly divisive times.

When a duckling is born who doesn’t look or sound exactly like all of the other ducks she is scorned until one day it is discovered that the ugly duckling is in fact a beautiful swan. The story speaks to how people or ducks, dogs and swans all have their unique qualities but their uniqueness can enhance their beauty and is not a good reason for bullying or other bad behavior. Now this important message is be delivered with great passion and good cheer by the Storybook Theatre as a musical.

A big part of the magic is that virtually every child in attendance gets an opportunity to go on the stage and perform even if only a tiny role. Watching the show it became clear that every child who participated was thrilled to do so, adding yet another element not generally available in the vast majority of theatrical productions.

This is entertainment produced to inform and thoroughly entertain children primarily from about age two through about age eight or nine. Of course the parents find joy as well through the happiness of their children. And everyone receives the very important lesson of acceptance amongst a diverse population. If only that message could be effectively delivered worldwide we might just be able to end war.

The Ugly Duckling Storybook Theatre style was created by Lloyd J. Schwartz with music and lyrics by Adryan Ross, directed and designed by Anthony Gruppuso and produced by Barbara Mallory Schwartz.  The performers are Anthony Gruppuso as Dog, Kathy Garrick as Mama Duck, Heather Keller as Rosie and Kristin Towers Rowles as Ugly Duckling/Swan.

It is a sweet and wonderful treat for all but it is especially fun for young children and their parents. It is at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Boulevard West, Los Angeles, California now through March 3rd 2018 every Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

They also encourage school field trips and I couldn’t think of a better one.  For further information and reservations call 818-761-2203.

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