If the three movie versions weren't enough for you, now you can catch Shrek on the Great White Way. The loveable green ogre makes his stage debut in Shrek The Musical, now playing at NYC's Broadway Theatre. The show opened in previews this week and I was there last night. Here's a recap:
The creative team did a wonderful job of translating the show from an animated film to a full on Broadway production. Shrek, played by Brian D'arcy James, plays the role dead-on. The costuming is done so elaborately well that you often forget the story came from an animation to begin with. One of the movie's most adored characters — Donkey — is hilariously played by Daniel Breaker. Nearly every line of his had the audience cracking up. There's plenty of humor for the 18+ crowd mixed in with the gentle, G-rated nature of the show as a whole.
Broadway superstar Sutton Foster plays the role of Princess Fiona. She's down-to-earth, quirky and can belt out tunes like "I Know It's Today" and "Morning Person" with an unprecedented ease. It's no wonder she's such a sought-after performer in the Broadway world. She's also gorgeous, as a princess and an ogre.
For me, the best parts of the show were those involving the fairy tale characters, who get banned from Duloc at the demands of Lord Farquaad. In the January 2009 issue of Dance Spirit, we even have a Q&A with ensemble member Denny Paschall, who plays the role of Peter Pan (among many others throughout the show). He's amazingly talented and a gifted singer and dancer. Keep an eye out for this rising star!
Lord Farquaad was the crowd favorite last night. Played by Christopher Sieber (you may remember him as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's dad on "Two of a Kind"), he's so funny with his "Daddy issues" and short-person complex.
My one gripe about the show is that it's two and a half hours long. I'm hoping that by the time the show opens, it's shorter. The scenery is great, the costuming is wonderful and the music is singalong-worthy. But two and a half hours after Donkey and the ogre first took the stage, I was in dire need of a nap!