Groton's middle-school students will perform "Honk! Jr.," the contemporary telling of "The Ugly Duckling," a fun-filled adventure in discovering the joys of being different. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Musical of 2000, it is written by Stiles and Drewe, the British team who wrote for the stage production of "Mary Poppins."

Director and drama teacher Linda Jones notes the reason she chose the show. "It is a snappy modern retelling of an old classic and fun for the whole family, but particularly appropriate for these young performers." She adds, "'Honk! Jr.' reminds us of things we hope our kids will learn -- to accept others for who they are, not what they look like, that being different is okay, and as the bullfrog sings, 'Out there, somewhere, someone's gonna love you -- warts and all.'"

The show is presented by The Groton-Dunstable Community Education Program in conjunction with Groton-Dunstable Middle School. Over 60 students in grades 5 through 8 are currently hard at work singing, dancing and acting to create this theatrical adventure. Performances are Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students, children, and seniors and $10 for adults.