Area children participated in the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Beauty Lou and the Country Beast Saturday, July 29, 2017, at the Tarkio High School Auditorium. Pictured are, from left to right: front row – Alex Barnett and Brezie Bywater; middle row – Tommi Lee Martin and River Dow; and back row – Ian Stepp, Ryan Paris, and Teahen Hannah. (Photo by Traci Martin)

Tarkio once again hosted the Missoula Children’s Theatre, a much-loved production week full of star-making fun. This year’s show was “Beauty Lou and the Country Beast” by Jim Caron and music and lyrics by Michael McGill and Jim Caron. The play was held in the Tarkio High School Auditorium Saturday, July 29, 2017.
“Beauty Lou is the oldest daughter of the 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 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 within. 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.”
Cast of characters included: Younger Beauty Lou – Alex Barnett; Older Beauty Lou – Tommi Lee Martin; Slim Takins – Ian Stepp; Dusty Bottoms – Teahen Hannah; Fleabite Clyde – Brezie Bywater; Imaginary Friend – River Dow; Beast – Ryan Paris; Younger Daughters – Lizzie Schlueter, Reagan Lester, Alexis Bywater, Natalie Coughlin, Jillian Hannah, and Jacy Johnson; Older Daughters – Claire Martin, Willa Lester, Tessa Rolf, Cali Driskell, Kendal Straub, and Drew Sanders; Country Folk – Izabella Wallace, Brody Wennihan, Gavyn Liechti, Brady Cox, Velicity Hegstrom, Bo Peregrine, Maddie Cox, Isaac Vette, Jacoby Driskell, Jacob Lester, and Delainee White; Barnyard Critters – Alexa Hoaglund, Beth Clark, Bella Bywater, Zander Wallace, Eli Cox, Jonah Johnson, Sophia Riley, Josh Schlueter, Jax Peregrine, and Kade Pridell; and Buckaroo Bob/Bonnie – Kady Nordstrom. Missoula directors were Kady Nordstrom and Beth­any Mansfield and the Tarkio director was Casey Martin. Assistant directors were Jae Barnett and Sophia Martin. Accompanist was Melody Barnett.
The Missoula Children’s Theatre productions in Tarkio are made possible each year by the Mule Barn Theatre Guild and a number of local businesses and organizations who help sponsor the event.