Shrek the Musical

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Shrek
The Musical
Shrekcovernew.jpg
Broadway Playbill cover
MusicJeanine Tesori
LyricsDavid Lindsay-Abaire
BookDavid Lindsay-Abaire
Basis2001 DreamWorks film and 1990 book by William Steig
Productions2008 Seattle tryout
2008 Broadway
2010 US Tour
2011 West End
2011 Non-Equity Tour
International productions
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Shrek
The Musical
Shrekcovernew.jpg
Broadway Playbill cover
MusicJeanine Tesori
LyricsDavid Lindsay-Abaire
BookDavid Lindsay-Abaire
Basis2001 DreamWorks film and 1990 book by William Steig
Productions2008 Seattle tryout
2008 Broadway
2010 US Tour
2011 West End
2011 Non-Equity Tour
International productions

Shrek the Musical is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film Shrek and William Steig's 1990 book Shrek!. After a tryout in Seattle, the original Broadway production opened in December 2008, and closed after a run of over 12 months in January 2010. It was followed by a tour of the United States which opened in 2010, and a re-vamped West End production from June 2011. Since its debut, the musical's rights have been available for independent overseas theatres, who have chosen to stage their own versions of the show, starting with the 2010 Israel production.

Contents

History

Development

Lindsay-Abaire and Jason Moore (director) began working on the show in 2002, with Tesori joining the team from 2004.[1] A reading took place on August 10, 2007, with Stephen Kramer Glickman in the title role, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Princess Fiona, Robert L. Daye, Jr. as Donkey and Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad.[2]

Seattle Premiere (2008)

The musical premiered in an out-of-town tryout at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Previews began August 14, 2008, with an opening night of September 10. The tryout ran through September 21, and played to generally favorable reviews, being cited as one of the few movie-to-stage adaptations "with heart".[3] The principal cast included Brian d'Arcy James as Shrek, Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad, Chester Gregory II as Donkey,[4] John Tartaglia as Pinocchio and Kecia Lewis-Evans as the Dragon.

During previews, "I Could Get Used to This" was replaced by "Don't Let Me Go," and "Let Her In" became "Make a Move". Also during previews, a brief reprise of "Who I'd Be" was sung after Shrek overhears Fiona's misleading comment about being with a hideous beast, which led into "Build a Wall". This was cut and "Build a Wall" was placed after "Morning Person (Reprise)". "Build a Wall" was later cut during previews, but re-instated towards the end of the run.

Broadway Production (2008-10)

After extensive changes were made, the show began previews on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre on November 8, 2008, with the official opening on December 14. The cast included d'Arcy James as Shrek, Foster as Fiona, Sieber as Farquaad and Tartaglia as Pinocchio. Daniel Breaker took over the role of Donkey, as the creative team thought Chester Gregory II did not fit the part.[5] The Dragon was voiced by company members Haven Burton, Aymee Garcia and Rachel Stern, instead of a soloist. Kecia Lewis-Evans, who played Dragon in Seattle, was offered a part in the show's ensemble but declined.[3] Ben Crawford was the standby for Shrek, until he replaced d'Arcy James for the final months of performances.

Other changes the creative team made included the deletion of three songs: "The Line-Up", "More to the Story" and "I Smell a Happy Ending". "Story of My Life", "Build a Wall" and "This is Our Story" were added in their respected places. "Who I'd Be" changed from being a solo for Shrek, to a trio with Fiona and Donkey joining him towards the end.

The song "I'm a Believer", which was originally played as the audience left the theatre, was added to the score on October 2, 2009, and sung by the entire company at the end of the performance.[6]

The Broadway production of the show received a total of twelve Drama Desk Award and eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and acting awards for d'Arcy James, Foster and Sieber. The show won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for d'Arcy James, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design and Costume Design for Tim Hatley, as well as the Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Hatley again. The cast recording of the show was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

The Broadway production closed on January 3, 2010, after 441 performances and 37 previews. At the time, it was the most expensive musical to open on Broadway, and despite generally good reviews, it failed to recoup its initial investment. The show was then extremely modified for the national tour.

US National Tour (2010-11)

A national tour of North America began previews at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, on July 13, 2010, with opening night on July 25.[7][8] Rob Ashford is the co-director, as the Broadway creative team revised changes. The production marked the debut of an all-new Dragon. On the subject, set designer Tim Hatley stated "The biggest change [will be] the dragon. It will be a different creature from the puppet/soul trio on Broadway [but] I think we've finally gotten it right".[9] The tour also features a new opening, new songs and improved illusions, from those on Broadway.[10]

Many changes made for the tour include a new song sung by the dragon entitled "Forever", replacing "Donkey Pot Pie". Dragon is also voiced off-stage by a single vocalist, with four puppeteers controlling the movements of the new 25-foot puppet. The song would feature in all subsequent productions. Sets and props were re-designed to fit the tour, and certain music/lyrics and tempo's were re-written and re-defined. Also, to fit the revised storyline, "What's Up Duloc?" is placed before "I Know It's Today". The Magic Mirror was also cut.

The original touring cast featured Eric Petersen as Shrek, Haven Burton as Princess Fiona and Alan Mingo, Jr. as Donkey. Carrie Compere plays the Dragon, with Blakely Slaybaugh as Pinocchio. The role of Lord Farquaad was first played by Todd Buonopane, however, an unexplained departure from Buonopane lead David F.M. Vaughn, who was playing the Big Bad Wolf at the time and was first understudy for Farquaad, to assume the lead role. No explanation was given of Buonopane's departure.[11] Petersen, Burton and Vaughn all understudied their roles on Broadway.

The tour played its final performance at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on July 31, 2011, ahead of a non-equity tour in September.[12]

West End Production (2011-13)

A newly revised scaled down version, which included a new opening among other changes to appeal more to British audiences, began performances in the West End at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, on May 6, 2011.[13] Nigel Lindsay headlined as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey, Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad and Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona. Landi Oshinowo plays the Dragon, with Jonathan Stewart as Pinocchio.[14][15][16][17]

As with the US Tour, the scenery follows traditional simple cloths and less-complex sets to those on Broadway. In the tribe of fairytale misfits, characters were changed to fit the UK audience. In order to shorten the running time of the show, the musical number "Build a Wall" was cut. "Don't Let Me Go" - which was initially written for the UK version with extra verses for Shrek to sing - featured in previews, but was removed before opening night: instead, the scene which depicts Donkey's arrival, is entirely spoken.

The official opening night took place on June 14, 2011. Most critics were positive about the production, and in particular praised Harman's performance, branding him "hysterically funny".[18] The production extended its booking period through October 21, 2012.[19]

The show was nominated for a total of four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, acting awards for Lindsay and Harman and Best Costume Design for Tim Hatley. Harman won the award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his performance as Lord Farquaad.

Kimberley Walsh, of UK pop group Girls Aloud, took over the role of Princess Fiona from October 5, 2011, after Holden announced her pregnancy.

On May 31, 2011, while the production was still in previews, most of the cast performed "I'm a Believer" on Britain's Got Talent and on October 26, 2011, "Morning Person" on The Alan Titchmarsh Show led by Walsh, which beforehand, featured an interview with Walsh and Nigel Harman. On December 26, 2011, Walsh appeared on a Chistmas special of Jim'll Fix It hosted by Shane Ritchie, in which the show granted nine year old Emma Bate from Kingston, Cambridgeshire her wish to appear in the show.[20] In the show's third live televised performance, Walsh and the cast performed "I Know It's Today" on This Morning, for the show broadcast January 6, 2012.

Dean Chisnall and Neil McDermott took over from Lindsay and Harman as Shrek and Lord Farquaad respectively on February 29, 2012.[21] Carley Stenson later took over as Princess Fiona from May 23, 2012.

It was recently announced that the production would close on February 24, 2013 after a 20-month run. Producers have announced their plans to tour Shrek across the UK in 2014.[22]

First Non-Equity US Tour (2011-12)

A second tour of North America, produced by NETworks and featuring a Non-Equity cast, launched September 9, 2011, at the Capitol Theatre in Yakima, Washington.[23] Lukas Poost is Shrek, with Liz Shivener as Princess Fiona, André Jordan as Donkey and Merritt David Janes as Lord Farquaad. Also in the cast is Luke Yellin as Pinocchio and Kelly Teal Goyette as the Dragon.[24]

The tour official opened in Portland, Oregon on September 13, 2011. Changes made for the London production, including the new opening, will be incorporated into the tour (with the exception of musical number "Don't Let Me Go", which is still featured). The tour ran in the U.S. through April 29, 2012, with the final show in Springfield, Missouri[23], before playing Asia.

First Non-Equity Asia Tour (2012)

The tour, which now saw Jeremy Gaston as Donkey and Courtney Daniels take on the role of Dragon, began at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia June 19, 2012, and closed at the Shanghai Culture Square in China August 5, 2012.

Second Non-Equity US Tour (2012-14)

The second non-equity tour is currently scheduled to begin October 5, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. The week beginning March 19, 2013, the tour will play Las Vegas, Nevada. The cast will feature Perry Sook as Shrek, Whitney Winfield as Princess Fiona, Jeremy Gaston as Donkey and Zachary Carpenter as Lord Farquaad, with Courtney Daniels as Dragon and Tony Johnson as Pinocchio. It runs to April 7, 2013, concluding in Reno, Nevada.[25]

International Productions

Israel, Asia (2010)

A down-scale version of the musical played Israel, Western Asia, in August 2010. Dvir Bendek starred in the title role, with Dana Frieder as Princess Fiona, Yaacov Cohen as Donkey and Zion Baruch as Lord Farquaad. It featured Hebrew translations of the original book and score, with changes in staging, sets, costumes, among other elements.

Gdynia, Poland (2011-)

A Polish-language production opened in Gdynia on September 1, 2011.[26] Several actors share the principal roles: Rafał Ostrowski, Paweł Tucholski and Jacek Wester as Shrek, Agnieszka Babicz, Magdalena Smuk and Marta Wiejak as Princess Fiona, Kamil Dominiak, Tomasz Więcek and Krzysztof Wojciechowski as Donkey, and Łukasz Dziedzic, Sebastian Wisłocki and Janusz Żak as Lord Farquaad. The original book and score remain (Polish translation), with a differ in sets, costumes, staging and other elements.

Madrid, Spain (2011)

A Spanish-language production ran at Madrid’s Nuevo Apolo Theatre from September 21, 2011 to January 8, 2012.[27] The cast featured Enrique Sequero and Miguel A. Gamero sharing the title role, with Mirela Cabero and Silvia Villaú as Princess Fiona, Héctor Fernández and Jorge Bettancor alternating as Donkey, and Jaume Ortanobas or Antonio Rodenas as Lord Farquaad.[28] A Spanish translation of the original book and score was used; with vast changes in sets, costumes and staging, among other elements.

Paris, France (2012)

A French-language production played Casino de Paris from February 8, 2012, through March 4.[29] The original book and score are translated into French. The down-scale version features original sets and costumes. Principal cast members included Michel Lerousseau (Shrek), Nathalie Lhermitte (Princess Fiona), Guillaume Beaujolais (Lord Farquaad) and Julien Plantier (Donkey).[30]

Italian Tour (2012-13)

A national tour of Italy will begin performances October 9, 2012 at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan. The production will subsequently visit Genoa, Bologna, Padova and Rome. It concludes in Rome on February 23, 2012.[26]

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2012-13)

A Dutch-language production of the musical will run at the RAI Theater in Amsterdam beginning performances October 26, 2012, currently on a run through January 6, 2013. It will be produced by Albert Verlinde Entertainment. Shrek will be played by William Spaaij, with Princess Fiona being played by Kim-Lian van de Meij, and Paul Groot as Lord Farquaad.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2012-)

Produced by Kabuki Productions, Shrek - O Musical will have a Brazilian premiere, debuting on December 2012.[31]

Manila, Philippines (2012)

A production will run November 16 through December 9, 2012. It will feature new designs rendered especially for the Manila engagement.[32]

Australia (20??)

Theatre producer John Frost, responsible for the record-breaking Australian transfer of Broadway musical Wicked, has owned the rights to produce the show, which is set to be staged in Australia "by 2012". "A theatre [and location] is yet to be chosen"[33].

Synopses

Broadway

Act I

Our story begins with an ogre named Shrek telling the audience of his childhood, and how, on his seventh birthday, his parents send him out of their house and into the world to make his living. They warn him that because of his looks, everyone will hate him, and he will not have a happy ending. Later, an embittered, hardened Shrek is living contentedly alone in a swamp ("Big Bright Beautiful World"). His solitude is disrupted when all the fairy-tale beings of the land begin showing up on his property, including an aray of elves, fairies and other enchanted creatures. Pinocchio reveals of their exile from the Kingdom of Duloc, by order of the diminutive Lord Farquaad ("Story of My Life"). Shrek decides to travel to see Farquaad to try to regain his privacy with much encouragement from Pinocchio and the gang ("The Goodbye Song"). Along the way, Shrek reluctantly rescues a talkative Donkey from some of Farquaad's goons. Donkey insists on tagging along ("Don't Let Me Go").

Meanwhile, Lord Farquaad is torturing Gingy into revealing the whereabouts of the princess he wishes to marry to become king. They are interrupted by henchman Thelonious, who reveals that Farquaad's guards have acquired the Magic Mirror. The Mirror reveals that Princess Fiona is currently trapped in a castle surrounded by lava and guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. Farquaad rushes out to prepare for the wedding before the Mirror can tell him what happens to Fiona at night. The Mirror then shows the audience the story of Fiona's childhood. A seven-year-old Fiona dreams of the brave knight who, her storybooks tell her, will one day rescue her from her tower and end her mysterious curse with "True Love's First Kiss". As she grows into a teenager, and then a headstrong woman, she becomes a little bit stir-crazy and bi-polar, but she never loses her faith in her fairy tales ("I Know It's Today"). Shrek and Donkey arrive in Duloc and make their way to Farquaad's palace. Elsewhere, Farquaad expresses his love for his kingdom ("Welcome to Duloc" / "What's Up, Duloc?"). Shrek and Donkey approach Farquaad. Impressed with the size and appearance of the ogre, Farquaad demands that Shrek perform the rescue, and in return, he will give Shrek the deed to his swamp.

The two unlikely friends set off to find Fiona, with Shrek becoming increasingly annoyed with the chatterbox Donkey as time progresses ("Travel Song"). After crossing the rickety old bridge and arriving at the castle, Shrek sets off alone to rescue Fiona while Donkey encounters a ferocious female Dragon who initially wants to eat him, but then wants to keep him for her own after Donkey manages to charm her ("Donkey Pot Pie"). When Shrek finds Fiona, his lack of interest in playing out her desired, romantic rescue scene annoys her, and Shrek must drag her off by force. The two of them reunite with Donkey and all three attempt to escape while being chased by the angry Dragon. Shrek traps Dragon and they get to safe land ("This Is How A Dream Comes True"). Fiona then insists that Shrek reveal his identity and is appalled that her rescuer is an ogre and not the Prince Charming her stories indicate. Shrek explains that he is merely her champion; instead, she is to wed Lord Farquaad. The trio begins their journey back to Farquaad's palace, but Fiona becomes apprehensive as the sun begins to set. She insists that they rest for the night and that she spend the night, alone, in a nearby cave. Donkey and Shrek remain awake, and Donkey, delighted at being referred to by Fiona as a "noble steed," asks Shrek who he would be, if he did not have to be an ogre anymore. As Shrek opens up to his new friend, Fiona, transformed into an ogress, stands apart and alone in the moonlight and listens ("Who I'd Be").

Act II

The next day, Princess Fiona rises early and sings with a bluebird and dances with a deer (before making the bird explode and throwing the deer off a cliff) and assists the Pied Piper in his rat-charming duties ("Morning Person"). Shrek brings down her mood by attempting to give subtle hints about her groom-to-be ("Men of Farquaad's stature are in short supply", "He's very good at small talk", etc.) and mocking her tragic childhood circumstances. The two begin a contest of one-upmanship, each trying to outdo the other by revealing their respective pasts ("I Think I Got You Beat"). Both admit to being thrown out by their parents; this connection, as well as bonding over a love of disgusting bodily noises, kindles friendship.

Meanwhile, back in Duloc, Lord Farquaad plans his wedding, and he reveals his own sordid heritage after Thelonious insists that Farquaad should invite his father ("The Ballad of Farquaad"). As Shrek and Fiona's newfound camaraderie grows into love, Donkey insists, with the help of the Three Blind Mice, that Shrek should gather his courage and romantically engage Fiona ("Make a Move"). Shrek, finally beginning to come out of his caustic, protective shell, tries to find the words to explain his feelings to Fiona ("When Words Fail").

While Shrek is out finding a flower for Fiona, Donkey discovers that Fiona turns into an ogress at night, and she confesses that she was cursed as a child, which is why she was locked away in the tower. Only a kiss from her true love will return her to her proper form. Shrek arrives near the end of the conversation and misunderstands Fiona's description of herself as an ugly beast to be referencing him. Hurt by her presumed opinion, Shrek storms off. The next day, transformed back to her human form, Fiona decides to tell Shrek about her curse ("Morning Person (Reprise)"). When Fiona tries to explain, Shrek rebuffs her. During the night, Shrek was contacted by Lord Farquaad, who arrives now to claim Princess Fiona. While not very impressed with Farquaad, Fiona agrees to marry him and insists that they have the wedding before sunset. As they ride back to Duloc, Donkey tries to explain the misunderstanding to Shrek (who is too angry to listen), and Shrek rejects him as well, declaring that he will return to his swamp alone and build a wall to shield himself from the world ("Build a Wall").

The fairy tale creatures now head for a landfill which is to be their new home. They decide Farquaad's treatment of them is intolerable. Just because they are freaks does not mean they deserve to be hated. Mama Bear and the gang convince a bitter Pinocchio, and gather new confidence and strength in themselves, as they declare they will raise their "Freak Flag" high against their tormentors ("Freak Flag").

Shrek returns to his again-private swamp, but he misses Fiona. Donkey follows him back, and convinces Shrek of his friendship by forgiving the ogre for his harsh words. Shrek apologizes, and Donkey convinces him that Fiona really cares for the ogre. Both of them hurry back to Duloc. Shrek interrupts the wedding before Farquaad can kiss Fiona, and Fiona convinces him to let Shrek speak with her. Shrek finally finds the words to express his feelings for Fiona, and he declares his love for her ("Big Bright Beautiful World (Reprise)"). However, his declaration of love is mocked by Lord Farquaad. Caught between love and her desire to break the curse, Fiona tries to escape the event, but the exiled fairy tale beings storm the wedding and protest their banishment. They are accompanied by a grumpy little dwarf, who is, in fact, Farquaad's father. Farquaad claimed earlier that Grumpy abandoned him in the woods as a child, but the dwarf reveals the true reason he kicked Farquaad out: He was, in fact, 28 and wouldn't move out of his basement. During the argument, the sun sets, causing Fiona to turn into an ogress in front of everyone. Farquaad, furious and disgusted over the change, orders that Shrek be killed and Fiona banished back to her tower. As Farquaad proclaims himself the new king, Shrek whistles for the Dragon, who has now escaped the castle. Dragon crashes through the window with Donkey and destroys Lord Farquaad with her fire breath. Admitting their love for each other, Shrek and Fiona share a kiss. Fiona's curse is broken and she takes her true form: an ogress. At first, she is ashamed of her looks, but Shrek declares that she is still beautiful. Shrek and Fiona begin a new life together, as everyone celebrates what makes them special ("This Is Our Story"). They all live happily ever after ("I'm a Believer"*).

West End

Act I

Our story begins with an ogre named Shrek telling the audience of his childhood, and how, on his seventh birthday, his parents send him out of their house and into the world to make his living. They warn him that because of his looks, everyone will hate him, and he will not have a happy ending. As Princess Fiona interrupts the story, we are given a glimpse into her childhood in which King Harold and Queen Lillian are sending Fiona off to her tower, before Shrek slams the book shut claiming a "technical hitch". Forced to fend for himself, Shrek returns to the only life he has ever known, living contentedly alone in a swamp ("Big Bright Beautiful World"). His solitude is disrupted when all the fairy-tale beings of the land begin showing up on his property, including an aray of elves, fairies and other enchanted creatures. Pinocchio reveals of their exile from the Kingdom of Duloc, by order of the diminutive Lord Farquaad ("Story of My Life"). Shrek decides to travel to see Farquaad to try to regain his privacy with much encouragement from Pinocchio and the gang ("The Goodbye Song"). Along the way, Shrek reluctantly rescues a talkative Donkey from some of Farquaad's goons. Donkey insists on tagging along, making Shrek see that they are more alike than he thinks.

Meanwhile, Lord Farquaad and henchman Thelonius are torturing Gingy into revealing the whereabouts of the princess that Farquaad intends to marry to become king. The cookie reveals that Princess Fiona is currently trapped in a castle surrounded by lava and guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. Farquaad rushes out to prepare for the wedding, unaware of what happens to Fiona at night. Shrek and Donkey arrive in Duloc and make their way to Farquaad's palace. Elsewhere, Farquaad expresses his love for his Kingdom ("Welcome to Duloc" / "What's Up, Duloc?"). Shrek and Donkey approach Farquaad. Impressed with the size and appearance of the ogre, Farquaad demands that Shrek perform the rescue, and in return, he will give Shrek the deed to his swamp.

Shrek and Donkey set off to find the princess. As they discuss the tale of the damsel-in-distress, the story reverts back to a seven-year-old Fiona, dreaming of the brave knight who, her storybooks tell her, will one day rescue her from her tower, and end her mysterious curse with "True Love's First Kiss". As she grows into a teenager, and then a headstrong woman, she becomes a little bit stir-crazy and bi-polar, but she never loses her faith in her fairy tales ("I Know It's Today"). The two unlikely friends set off to find Fiona, with Shrek becoming increasingly annoyed with the chatterbox Donkey as time progresses ("Travel Song"). After crossing the rickety old bridge and arriving at the castle, Shrek sets off alone to rescue Fiona while Donkey encounters a ferocious female Dragon who initially wants to eat him, but then wants to keep him for her own after Donkey manages to charm her ("Forever"). When Shrek finds Fiona, his lack of interest in playing out her desired, romantic rescue scene annoys her, and Shrek must drag her off by force. The two of them reunite with Donkey and all three attempt to escape while being chased by an angry Dragon. Shrek traps Dragon and they get to safe land ("This Is How A Dream Comes True"). Fiona then insists that Shrek reveal his identity and is appalled that her rescuer is an ogre and not the Prince Charming her stories indicate. Shrek explains that he is merely her champion; instead, she is to wed Lord Farquaad. The trio begins their journey back to Farquaad's palace, but Fiona becomes apprehensive as the sun begins to set. She insists that they rest for the night and that she spend the night, alone, in a nearby cave. Donkey and Shrek remain awake, and Donkey, delighted at being referred to by Fiona as a "noble steed," asks Shrek who he would be, if he did not have to be an ogre anymore. As Shrek opens up to his new friend, Fiona, transformed into an ogress, stands apart and alone in the moonlight and listens ("Who I'd Be").

Act II

The next day, Princess Fiona rises early and sings with a bluebird and dances with a deer (before making the bird explode and throwing the deer off a cliff) and assists the Pied Piper in his rat-charming duties ("Morning Person"). Shrek brings down her mood by attempting to give subtle hints about her groom-to-be ("Men of Farquaad's stature are in short supply", "He's very good at small talk", etc.) and mocking her tragic childhood circumstances. The two begin a contest of one-upmanship, each trying to outdo the other by revealing their respective pasts ("I Think I Got You Beat"). Both admit to being thrown out by their parents; this connection, as well as bonding over a love of disgusting bodily noises, kindles friendship.

Meanwhile, back in Duloc, Lord Farquaad plans his wedding, and he reveals his own sordid heritage after Thelonious insists that Farquaad should invite his father ("The Ballad of Farquaad"). As Shrek and Fiona's newfound camaraderie grows into love, Donkey insists, with the help of the Three Blind Mice, that Shrek should gather his courage and romantically engage Fiona ("Make a Move"). Shrek, finally beginning to come out of his caustic, protective shell, tries to find the words to explain his feelings to Fiona ("When Words Fail").

While Shrek is out finding a flower for Fiona, Donkey discovers that Fiona turns into an ogress at night, and she confesses that she was cursed as a child, which is why she was locked away in the tower. Only a kiss from her true love will return her to her proper form. Shrek arrives near the end of the conversation and misunderstands Fiona's description of herself as an ugly beast to be referencing him. Hurt by her presumed opinion, Shrek storms off. The next day, transformed back to her human form, Fiona decides to tell Shrek about her curse ("Morning Person (Reprise)"). When Fiona tries to explain, Shrek rebuffs her. During the night, Shrek was contacted by Lord Farquaad, who arrives now to claim Princess Fiona. While not very impressed with Farquaad, Fiona agrees to marry him and insists that they have the wedding before sunset. As they ride back to Duloc, Donkey tries to explain the misunderstanding to Shrek (who is too angry to listen), and Shrek rejects him as well, declaring that he will return to his swamp alone.

The fairy tale creatures, including Gingy (who was taken to the swamp after his torture), now head for a landfill which is to be their new home. They decide Farquaad's treatment of them is intolerable. Just because they are freaks does not mean they deserve to be hated. Mama Bear and the gang convince a bitter Pinocchio, and gather new confidence and strength in themselves, as they declare they will raise their "Freak Flag" high against their tormentors ("Freak Flag").

Shrek returns to his again-private swamp, but he misses Fiona. Donkey follows him back, and convinces Shrek of his friendship by forgiving the ogre for his harsh words. Shrek apologizes, and Donkey convinces him that Fiona really cares for the ogre. Both of them hurry back to Duloc. Shrek interrupts the wedding before Farquaad can kiss Fiona, and Fiona convinces him to let Shrek speak with her. Shrek finally finds the words to express his feelings for Fiona, and he declares his love for her ("Big Bright Beautiful World (Reprise)"). However, his declaration of love is mocked by Lord Farquaad. Caught between love and her desire to break the curse, Fiona tries to escape the event, but the exiled fairy tale beings storm the wedding and protest their banishment. They are accompanied by a grumpy little dwarf, who is, in fact, Farquaad's father. Farquaad claimed earlier that Grumpy abandoned him in the woods as a child, but the dwarf reveals the true reason he kicked Farquaad out: He was, in fact, 28 and wouldn't move out of his basement. During the argument, the sun sets, causing Fiona to turn into an ogress in front of everyone. Farquaad, furious and disgusted over the change, orders that Shrek be killed and Fiona banished back to her tower. As Farquaad proclaims himself the new king, Shrek whistles for the Dragon, who has now escaped the castle. Dragon crashes through the window with Donkey and destroys Lord Farquaad with her fire breath. Admitting their love for each other, Shrek and Fiona share a kiss. Fiona's curse is broken and she takes her true form: an ogress. At first, she is ashamed of her looks, but Shrek declares that she is still beautiful. Shrek and Fiona begin a new life together, as everyone celebrates what makes them special ("This Is Our Story"). They all live happily ever after ("I'm a Believer").

Casts

The original principal casts of all major productions.

CharactersSeattle TryoutBroadwayUS National TourWest End1st Non-Equity Tour2nd Non-Equity Tour
ShrekBrian d'Arcy JamesEric PetersenNigel LindsayLukas PoostPerry Sook
Princess FionaSutton FosterHaven BurtonAmanda HoldenLiz ShivenerWhitney Winfield
DonkeyChester Gregory IIDaniel BreakerAlan Mingo, Jr.Richard BlackwoodAndré JordanJeremy Gaston
Lord FarquaadChristopher SieberDavid F.M. Vaughn≠Nigel HarmanMerritt David JanesChristian Marriner
DragonKecia Lewis-EvansHaven Burton
Aymee Garcia
Rachel Stern
Carrie CompereLandi OshinowoKelly Teal GoyetteCourtney Daniels
PinocchioJohn TartagliaBlakely SlaybaughJonathan StewartLuke YellinTony Johnson

≠ Todd Buonopane played Lord Farquaad during US Tour previews, but an unexplained departure before opening lead Vaughn to assume the role.[11]

(For full cast details see Shrek the Musical cast lists.)

Banished fairytale creatures

Seattle Try-out & Broadway Line-Up (17)
West End Line-Up (18)
  • Pinocchio
  • Sugar Plum Fairy & Gingy
  • Bricks (Three Little Pigs)
  • Sticks (Three Little Pigs)
  • Straw (Three Little Pigs)
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Wicked Witch
  • Mama Bear
  • Papa Bear
  • Baby Bear
  • Peter Pan
  • Ugly Duckling
  • Humpty Dumpty
  • White Rabbit
  • Fairy Godmother
  • Mad Hatter
  • Tweedle Dee
  • Tweedle Dum
US National Tour Line-Up (14)
  • Pinocchio
  • Sugar Plum Fairy
  • Bricks (Three Little Pigs)
  • Sticks (Three Little Pigs)
  • Straw (Three Little Pigs)
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Wicked Witch
  • Mama Bear & Gingy
  • Papa Bear
  • Baby Bear
  • Peter Pan
  • Ugly Duckling
  • Shoemaker's Elf
  • Tweedle Dum ≠≠

≠ In September 2009 of the Broadway run, Humpty Dumpty was replaced by Tweedle Dum.
≠≠ For both Non-Equity tours, Fairy Godmother took the place of Tweedle Dum.

Production references

Musical numbers

Broadway

Act I
  • "Overture" / "Big Bright Beautiful World" – Mama Ogre, Papa Ogre, Shrek
  • "Story of My Life" – Guard, Fairytale Creatures
  • "The Goodbye Song" – Shrek, Fairytale Creatures≠
  • "Don't Let Me Go" – Donkey
  • "I Know It's Today" – Young Fiona, Teen Fiona, Adult Fiona
  • "Welcome to Duloc" / "What's Up, Duloc?" – Lord Farquaad, Duloc Performers
  • "Travel Song" – Donkey, Shrek
  • "Donkey Pot Pie" – Donkey, Dragon
  • "This is How a Dream Comes True" – Fiona, Shrek, Donkey, Dragon
  • "Who I'd Be" – Shrek, Fiona, Donkey
Act II
  • "Morning Person" – Fiona, Pied Piper
  • "I Think I Got You Beat" – Fiona, Shrek
  • "The Ballad of Farquaad" – Lord Farquaad, Thelonius, Guards
  • "Make a Move" – Donkey, Three Blind Mice
  • "When Words Fail" – Shrek
  • "Morning Person" (Reprise) – Fiona
  • "Build a Wall" – Shrek
  • "Freak Flag" – Fairytale Creatures
  • "Big Bright Beautiful World" (Reprise) – Shrek
  • "This Is Our Story" – Fiona, Shrek, Donkey, Fairytale Creatures
  • "I'm a Believer" – Entire Company≠ (as of October 2, 2009)

≠ Not included on the original Broadway cast recording.

West End

Act I
  • "Overture" / "Big Bright Beautiful World" – Shrek, Mama Ogre, Papa Ogre, Fiona, King Harold, Queen Lillian, Villagers
  • "Story of My Life" – Guard, Fairytale Creatures
  • "The Goodbye Song" – Shrek, Fairytale Creatures
  • "Welcome to Duloc" / "What's Up, Duloc?" – Lord Farquaad, Duloc Performers
  • "I Know It's Today" – Young Fiona, Teen Fiona, Adult Fiona
  • "Travel Song" – Donkey, Shrek
  • "Forever" – Dragon, Donkey, Knights
  • "This is How a Dream Comes True" – Fiona, Shrek, Donkey, Dragon
  • "Who I'd Be" – Shrek, Fiona, Donkey
Act II
  • "Morning Person" – Fiona, Pied Piper, Rats
  • "I Think I Got You Beat" – Fiona, Shrek
  • "The Ballad of Farquaad" – Lord Farquaad, Thelonius, Guards
  • "Make a Move" – Donkey, Three Blind Mice
  • "When Words Fail" – Shrek
  • "Morning Person" (Reprise) – Fiona
  • "Freak Flag" – Fairytale Creatures
  • "Big Bright Beautiful World" (Reprise) – Shrek
  • "This Is Our Story" – Fiona, Shrek, Donkey, Fairytale Creatures
  • "I'm a Believer" – Entire Company

Recordings

The original Broadway cast recording was recorded on January 12, 2009 and was released on March 24, 2009 by Decca Broadway Records.[35]

The album debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Cast Albums chart and #88 on the Billboard 200.[36][37]

"I'm a Believer" is also not featured on the recording as it was only added to the score on October 2, 2009. Instead, it was released as part of a Highlighted Cast Recording, released on November 17, 2009, and is also available to download via iTunes, as is the song "More to the Story", sung by Fiona, which was cut from the final Broadway production.

On December 4, 2009, when the Grammy Award nominees were announced, the cast recording was nominated for Best Musical Show Album.[38]

"Donkey Pot Pie" (which is included on the show's cast recording) was later replaced by "Forever" for the national tour and all subsequent productions. The song became available on iTunes in 2011. It was recorded during a live performance of the national tour in Chicago, and features Carrie Compere (Dragon) and Alan Mingo, Jr. (Donkey).

The original London cast recorded a single of "I'm a Believer" for promotional purposes. The full music video can be found on the official YouTube channel.

An original Spanish-language cast recording featuring the Madrid cast was recorded between August and September 2011, and released in September. The Spanish album includes later added songs "Forever" and "I'm a Believer", as well as different orchestrations to the Broadway recording and the arrangements made for the national tour.

Reception

The musical received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times: "'Shrek,' for the record, is not bad.... As the title character, a misanthropic green ogre who learns to love, the talented Mr. James is... encumbered with padding and prosthetics.... As the evil, psychologically maimed Lord Farquaad, the very droll Christopher Sieber is required to walk on his knees, with tiny fake legs dangling before him — an initially funny sight gag that soon drags". He praises Sutton Foster as "an inspired, take-charge musical comedian.... Ms. Foster manages both to make fun of and exult in classical musical-comedy moves while creating a real, full character at the same time."[39]

Variety noted that the production had a reported budget of $24 million. Any "theme-park cutesiness is offset by the mischievous humor in David Lindsay-Abaire's book and lyrics. The production's real achievement, however, is that the busy visuals and gargantuan set-pieces never overwhelm the personalities of the actors or their characters. The ensemble is talented and the four leads, in particular, couldn't be better."[40]

The Associated Press said that "the folks at DreamWorks have done their darndest to make sure we are entertained at "Shrek the Musical," the company's lavish stage adaptation of its hit animated movie. For much of the time, they succeed, thanks to the talent and ingratiating appeal of the show's four principal performers. The show's massive sets and colorful costumes (both courtesy of Tim Hatley) are so visually eye-catching that they often distract from what's going on with the story and score. Composer Jeanine Tesori has written attractive, eclectic, pop-flavored melodies that range from a jaunty Travel Song to a gutsy duet called I Got You Beat for Shrek and Fiona that revels in rude noises." The review also noted that Lindsay-Abaire's lyrics are often fun and quite witty.[41]

USA Today gave the show three and ½ out of four stars, writing: "Shrek, which draws from William Steig's book about a lovable ogre and the DreamWorks animated movie that it inspired, is nonetheless a triumph of comic imagination with a heart as big and warm as Santa's. It is the most ingeniously wacky, transcendently tasteless Broadway musical since The Producers, and more family-friendly than that gag-fest." The review also noted, however, that "Like other musical adaptations of hit films, Shrek... leans heavily on winking satire. There are the usual nods to more fully realized shows, from Gypsy to A Chorus Line, and Jeanine Tesori's blandly ingratiating score doesn't feature any songs you're likely to be humming 20 years from now."[42]

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResultRef
2009Tony AwardBest MusicalNominated[43]
Best Book of a MusicalDavid Lindsay-AbaireNominated
Best Original ScoreJeanine TesoriNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a MusicalBrian d'Arcy JamesNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a MusicalSutton FosterNominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a MusicalChristopher SieberNominated
Best OrchestrationsDanny Troob and John ClancyNominated
Best Costume DesignTim HatleyWon
Drama Desk AwardOutstanding MusicalNominated[44]
Outstanding Book of a MusicalDavid Lindsay-AbaireNominated
Outstanding Actor in a MusicalBrian d'Arcy JamesWon
Daniel BreakerNominated
Outstanding Actress in a MusicalSutton FosterNominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalChristopher SieberNominated
Outstanding Director of a MusicalJason MooreNominated
Outstanding MusicJeanine TesoriNominated
Outstanding LyricsDavid Lindsay-AbaireNominated
Outstanding OrchestrationsDanny TroobNominated
Outstanding Set DesignTim HatleyWon
Outstanding Costume DesignWon
Grammy AwardBest Musical Show AlbumNominated[45]

Original London production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResultRef
2012Laurence Olivier AwardBest New MusicalNominated[46]
Best Actor in a MusicalNigel LindsayNominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a MusicalNigel HarmanWon
Best Costume DesignTim HatleyNominated

References

  1. ^ Gurewitsch, Matthew. "Orchestrating an Ogre's Monster Makeover", The New York Times, December 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Gans, Andrew."Keenan-Bolger and Sieber Are Part of Aug. 10 'Shrek' Reading", Playbill.com, August 10, 2007
  3. ^ a b Jacobson, Lynn. "Shrek the Musical", Variety, 11 September 2008.
  4. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Seattle Goes Green: Shrek the Musical Makes World Premiere Aug. 14", playbill.com, 14 August 2008.
  5. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Breaker Replaces Gregory and Other Changes Announced for NY Bound Shrek", playbill.com, September 30, 2008
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew."'Shrek the Musical' Adds "November Rain" to Broadway Score", playbill.com, September 30, 2009
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew."Shrek Tour Will Launch in July 2010 in Chicago" playbill.com, September 4, 2009
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew."Ogre There! National Tour of Shrek the Musical Kicks Off July 13 in Chicago" playbill.com, July 13, 2010
  9. ^ "'Shrek the Musical' National tour Will Debut An All New Dragon" broadwayworld.com, September 12, 2009
  10. ^ "Ashford to Co-Direct 'Shrek' Tour; Cast Announced" broadwayworld.com, May 11, 2010
  11. ^ a b Jones, Chris."'Shrek the Musical' at Cadillac Palace Theatre: Singing 'Shrek' has more heart in Chicago" Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2010
  12. ^ Shrek at the Pantages broadwayla.org, accessed May 10, 2011
  13. ^ [www.shrekthemusical.co.uk "Official site"] shrekthemusical.co.uk, retrieved July 2, 2010
  14. ^ [1] dailymail.co.uk
  15. ^ Bosanquet, Theo."Holden & Blackwood Confirmed for London 'Shrek'" whatsonstage.com, 30 July 2010
  16. ^ "Nigel Lindsay and Nigel Harman cast in 'Shrek The Musical'" londontheatre.co.uk, 3 September 2010
  17. ^ SHREK to Undergo Changes for West End; New Characters & Design broadwayworld.com
  18. ^ "Press reviews: 'Shrek the Musical'" BBC, 15 June 2011
  19. ^ SHREK Tickets Now on Sale Thru October 2012
  20. ^ http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/wimbledon/9461026.Schoolgirl_takes_to_the_stage_thanks_to_Jim_ll_Fix_It/
  21. ^ http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/latest/view/item118192/New-cast-for-Shrek-
  22. ^ http://www.whatsonstage.com/news/theatre/london/E8831346399862/Shrek+closes+on+24+Feb%2C+Charlie+moves+Chocolate+Factory+to+Drury+Lane.html
  23. ^ a b "Tickets and Tour Schedule, NETworks Presentations" shrekthemusicalontour.com, accessed September 8, 2011
  24. ^ "Cast" shrekthemusicalontour.com, accessed September 8, 2011
  25. ^ http://www.shrekthemusicalontour.com/cast
  26. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam."'Shrek The Musical' Will Crop Up Across the "Big Bright Beautiful World"" Playbill.com, August 10, 2011
  27. ^ Edgecumbe-Ansdel, Laura "'Shrek' and 'Lion King' both head to Spain thestage.co.uk, 6 June 2011
  28. ^ [2] shrekelmusical.es
  29. ^ Ly-Cuong, Stéphane."'Avenue Q', 'Shrek', 'Elegies', 'Hairspray', 'Mamma Mia!', 'Cabaret', 'Frankenstein' and More Will Play Paris This Season" Playbill.com, September 8, 2011
  30. ^ http://www.playbill.com/news/article/159436-Its-a-Big-Bright-Beautiful-World-Shrek-The-Musical-Opens-in-Paris-Feb-8
  31. ^ http://www.kabukiproducoes.com.br/em-cartaz/shrek-%E2%80%9Co-musical%E2%80%9D/
  32. ^ http://www.playbill.com/news/article/157746-God-of-Carnage-With-Lea-Salonga-to-Play-Manila-Rock-of-Ages-Nine-and-Shrek-Also-Planned
  33. ^ Lambert, Catherine."'Shrek The Musical' coming to Australia" The Courier Mail, December 18, 2010
  34. ^ http://www.fairiesworld.com/famous-fairies/sugar-plum-fairy.shtml
  35. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Shrek CD Arrives in Stores March 24", playbill.com, March 24, 2009.
  36. ^ SHREK THE MUSICAL CD Debuts at #1 on Billboard's 'Top Cast Album' Chart
  37. ^ "The Billboard 200 'Shrek: The Musical'" billboard.com
  38. ^ BroadwayWorld.com OBCR News, broadwayworld.com June 10, 2009
  39. ^ Brantley, Ben. "The Belching Green Ogre Has a Song in His Heart", The New York Times, December 15, 2008
  40. ^ Rooney, David. "Shrek the Musical", Variety, December 14, 2008
  41. ^ Kuchwara, Michael. "A mean green ogre named Shrek moves to Broadway", Associated Press, December 14, 2008
  42. ^ Gardner, Elysa. "On Broadway, 'Shrek the Musical' is a gas, gas, gas", Usatoday.com, December 14, 2008
  43. ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth. "Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; Billy Elliot Earns 15 Nominations", playbill.com, 5 May 2009.
  44. ^ Gans, Andrew.Ruined and Billy Elliot Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards playbill.com, 17 May 2009.
  45. ^ Ain't Misbehavin', Hair, 9 to 5, Shrek, West Side Story, Liza Nominated for GRAMMY Awards, broadwayworld.com
  46. ^ OLIVIERS 2012: All the Winners! MATILDA, ANNA CHRISTIE, Sheridan Smith Pick Up Awards!

External links