The breadth of Missoula Children's Theatre's touring company is familiar: Each year, the Montana troupe hits nearly 1,300 communities in all 50 states, eight Canadian provinces or territories and 16 different countries. Rather than traveling all over the world to perform the same show with a set cast, MCT shows up in a new locale, holds auditions on a Monday for a bunch of local kids from first to 12th grades, then fills 60 roles to produce a musical over the course of a week. This year alone, more than 65,000 kids around the world have scored roles in one of MCT International Tour's shows. This is the ninth summer MCT has come to the ArtsCenter. Auditions for Beauty Lou and the Country Beast, a western adaptation of the fairy tale about Belle and the sullen enchanted monster, were held earlier this week. (In this version, Beauty Lou is the daughter of a singing cowboy and the Beast is an uncouth miner.) After a weeklong residency, the final production premieres Saturday with two hourlong performances.
—Emma D. Miller