Shrek Comes to Broadway

Broadway just got a little uglier! Everyone’s favorite ogre is stomping onto the Great White Way in Shrek The Musical. Based on the popular film, this musical turns the world of fairy tales on its head, as Shrek journeys to rescue Princess Fiona from her tower. But it wouldn’t be Broadway without some showstoppers along the way. Featured in the ensemble is Denny Paschall, who sat down with Dance Spirit to discuss what it takes to infuse the story of an ogre with some Broadway pizzazz. —Matt Murphy


Dance Spirit: What was the first thing you thought when you heard they were adapting Shrek?


Denny Paschall: Anytime something is being adapted, I’m interested to see how the creative team is going to make that happen. The first thing that struck me was how good the writing is. The creators ventured away from the movie in order to make it better for a stage. They weren’t married to any of the dialogue in the movie; they were married to the story.


DS: What has it been like working with choreographer Josh Prince?


DP: He has a different way of approaching steps. They’re very quirky, which is perfect for Shrek. It’s cool to see someone who’s not thinking of doing big tricks all the time. He’s using steps to tell a story.


DS: What role does dance play in the overall production?


DP: There are some big dance numbers, but primarily the movement is forwarding the story, so it has to be given the same attention as a line of dialogue or a lyric in a song. It’s another way of informing the audience as to how the characters are feeling.


DS: What do you hope audiences will experience at the show?


DP: I hope they’re reminded that each individual is beautiful, just like Shrek. I hope audiences can come away with a sense of being more understanding and tolerant of people they might not understand.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search