The Ugly Duckling at WSU Hilberry Theatre in Detroit

The tale of The Ugly Duckling is well-loved by many – the little bird who's just a little bit different from the rest and suffers for it. And don't we all cheer for the magical ending, when the "ugly" duckling matures into a beautiful swan?

Hans Christian Andersen's story has been popular for more than 150 years – and that's why the Hilberry Theatre, on Wayne State University's campus in Detroit, is picking a musical version – featuring "Udrich," an unquestionably "ugly" duck –for its annual summer kids show, which will be running on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from June 19 to July 7, 2012.

After all, "Aren't we all looking for a place to fit in?" asks show director Aaron Westlake. And, sure enough, our lonely hero Udrich embarks on a quest to find his identity, trying to become a turkey, goose, dog, cat, hen – heck, even a human child !– until he finally finds himself. "The story has a timeless message that everybody needs to hear today."

This production takes a whimsical approach, Westlake adds, that looks as though children had a hand in creating it. Add to that the Hilberry's intimate setting, and little theatergoers from preschool through third grade will feel right at home. It's a perfect first stage-show experience for kids.

The show time is perfect for summer vacation, too: The curtain goes up at 10:30 a.m. June 19-22, 26-29 and July 5-7 (note that the June 23 and July 3 shows are sold out). And family-friendly pricing of $5 a ticket makes this a must-see!

To discover more about The Ugly Duckling at the Hilberry Theatre in Detroit, visit the Metro Parent listing.

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