By Special to the Daily World
Saludos!  Center for Puppetry Arts brings back its popular modern adaptation of the classic tale of “Beauty and the Beast,” artfully presented in a bilingual blend of Spanish and English. Artistic Director Jon Ludwig’s interpretation has the same spunk and sass from years past, full of toe-tapping music, lots of laughs, and a poignant message.

The Center’s distinctive production takes place in an urban environment where Beauty and her mother run a beauty salon, owned by the tyrannical Doña Arruga. During a business deal gone awry, Beauty’s mother stumbles upon the Beast’s “lair,” a fantasy forest in the midst of the city. Obeying the Beast’s demands, Beauty goes to him in return for her mother’s safety. Although afraid of the creature she expects to find, Beauty realizes that beneath the Beast’s shaggy exterior, there is a lovable and lonely friend.

Representing the urban world in which they live, mops, rakes, pipes, wrenches and other “found” objects, make up the cast of characters.  Innocent Beauty, fiery Mama, power-hungry Doña Arruga, and the surprisingly sweet Beast embody their most identifiable characteristics from the objects of which they are made. For those who have always wanted to see a cat boogie, a book rap, and two mops fall in love, entonces this is the perfect show!

Beauty and the Beast will be presented in the Mainstage Theater on Thursday thru Sunday, April 7-10 and Tuesday-Friday, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.; Saturday at noon and 2 pm; Sunday at 2 pm; Tuesday-Friday at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.; Saturday at 11a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.;  and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Included in the $16 ticket is admission to the Create-A-Puppet Workshop, where visitors can experience the thrill of puppetry by creating their own Cool Cat Hand Puppet or pick up a Create-A-Puppet To-Go Kit to continue the fun at home.  Investigate all kinds of puppets in the Center’s permanent museum “PUPPETS: The Power of Wonder,” which includes three exclusive exhibits featuring the work of Jim Henson.

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