"Beauty and the Beast" may be a tale as old as time, but it's never same old, same old when performed by Treehouse Troupe.
Treehouse Museum's acting company presents "Beauty and Her Beast," opening at 6 p.m. Saturday and running every Saturday through Jan. 29 in the museum's Castle Theater.
"It's familiar, but a little bit different," said Lynne Goodwin, museum director. "It's based on the French versions of the fairy tale, but given a Treehouse twist, of course."
Tales of the beauty and beast type have been around for a long time, and Goodwin read many before penning the script for Treehouse Troupe.
"There's the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, but there are lots of stories from countries all over the world," said Goodwin, also mentioning the Scandinavian tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon."
She learned a lot about the story during her research.
"I even looked at a really interesting French movie from the 1930s," she said. "It was all in French, with subtitles, so it was a lot of fun to watch."
In the end, Goodwin relied mostly on French versions of the story, written in the 1740s, for her adaptation. Because of the story's French influences, she gave the characters French names.
Beauty's father is Merchant BontA(c), a name that means "goodness" in French. The role will be played by Wes Whitby of Ogden, programs coordinator at Treehouse Museum.
"I think they're going to love Wes' performance as the father," Goodwin said. "He's sort of the comic relief in the play, and does a wonderful job with that."
The Beast's real name, in the play, is Destin, which means "Destiny." He'll be portrayed by Goodwin's son, Rob Goodwin of North Ogden.
Beauty's sister is named Mensonge, the French word for "lie" or "illusion." The sister, who can't see beyond surface illusions, is played by Michelle Johnson of Ogden.
Ogden's Katie Forsberg plays Beauty, a nickname for the character VA(c)ritA(c). VA(c)ritA(c) is the French word for "truth."
"She's the one who can see the reality of things," Goodwin said.
Treehouse Troupe has been wanting to perform a "Beauty and the Beast" play for quite a while, but Goodwin needed to figure out how to portray the magical elements of the story.
"In the Beast's domain, things magically appear and lights go on and off on their own," said Goodwin. "In the traditional French retelling, magical things happen that Beauty can't explain, so that's what we're trying to go for, without being scary or doing magic tricks."
Goodwin doesn't want to spoil the magical surprises, but says: "Watch the statues."
While magic is part of the story, it's the idea behind the story that makes "Beauty and Her Beast" really magical.
"It's a wonderful message about looking beneath the exterior, and the surface look of somebody, to find out what they're like inside," said Goodwin.