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The West High Drama and Music Departments, through special arrangement with Music Theatre International, is presenting “Honk! A Musical Tale of the ‘Ugly Duckling,’” with music by George Stiles and book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe.

Performances will be April 23-25 starting at 7:30 p.m. each night in the West High auditorium. Tickets are $8.

Follow the story of the Ugly Duckling as told through song and dance with a farmland flair. It’s spring time, and Ida and Drake are welcoming their new ducklings; however, one does not look like the others. Faced with barnyard bullying, naive Ugly seeks a friendship with the villainous Cat who takes the Ugly duckling back to his lair far away from the duck yard.

Due to a mishap involving a “fowl ball,” Ugly escapes the Cat’s advances and tries to make his way back home. Along the way he encounters a gaggle of military geese, a house cat and hen set in their ways, an aesthetically challenged bullfrog, and a beautiful young swan who all teach him that appearances aren’t always important and that being different is a wonderful thing.

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Directed by Myra Nurre, with music directed by David Green, the show features many students in a show that challenges audiences’ perceptions of prejudice and self-esteem.

Aaron Linde leads the cast as Ugly, along with Miranda Sofe Nelson as his ever-encouraging mother, Ida, and Adam Copeland is the hungry, sly Cat.

There will be a brief talk-back session following the April 24 show at which audience members will have a chance to speak with actors, designers and directors about the show.

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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.