You’re already familiar with the story…probably have been
forced asked to watch the movie on DVD about 10 billion times with your kids. But here comes the stage production of SHREK THE MUSICAL.
I’ve seen the rave reviews from the tour’s previous stop in Montreal (originally from Broadway) so I was excited to take my 7 yr old son on opening night along with my BFF and her son. If you’ve ever wanted to take your kid to a play, this is one worth checking out!
Here’s the recap… SHREK (Lucas Poost), the scottish-accented ogre wants to live his simple life without much ado. However, his swamp is invaded by a displaced band of fairytale B-listers including Sugar Plum Fairy, Gingy the Gingerbread man, Shoemaker’s Elf, Three Blind Mice, and others. They were banished to the muddy swamp by Lord Farquaad (Merritt David Janes – who plays his entire role on his knees – is worth the ticket price alone!). The only way to get the misfit characters out of SHREK‘s swamp is to make a deal with his majesty.
SHREK and Donkey (Andre Jordan) his wise-cracking, snap-attitude, side-kick, are on a mission to save Princess Fiona (Liz Shivener) from the Dragon’s Tower and deliver her to the future king as his bride.
However, Princess Fiona (played by three actresses at various ages) has a curse placed on her by a wicked witch. By day she’s a beautiful princess, by night she morphs into the opposite. The only way to break the curse and to reveal her real side is with a kiss from her true love. She grew up reading fairy-tales and dreamt of being saved by a handsome Prince Charming – just like in the books, and living happily ever after. When SHREK appears to be her saviour, her initial dreams are crushed when she realizes that well…things don’t always go the way you think they should. But she happily putters along (with an admitted caffeine addiction) and keeps her hopes up.
Anyway you know how it all ends right?
So, you probably want to know what the experience was like for us…
One word: HILARIOUS!!!
Cleverly injected adult content (and even sometimes suggestive moments) had me laughing! Each time I turned my head towards my friend with the look of “I can’t believe he just said/did that?!” And our kids didn’t catch a wink of it. In fact, you can hear our kids,and those around us, asking “what? why are you laughing?”. But in all fairness, there was the perfect amount of kid humour to balance off the production. Plenty of burps and farts kept our little guys in stitches!
All the songs are originals with the exception of the final song “I’m a Believer”. So, don’t expect to sing along much.
But speaking of singing, the voices were fantastic! Lady Dragon (Erin Edelle) has an incredibly soulful voice that will stop you in your tracks. Combined with the puppeteers creating her larger than life persona, I would have to say that this was my personal highlight…but possibly a little too scary for some of the preschool-set in the audience as evident by their terrified shrieks.
The show runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. It seems a tad bit too long for a school night but let’s face it, there’s not too many opportunities to experience an age-appropriate Broadway musical with your kids! I did feel that the show moved at a good pace for the crowd. I would recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Younger may not get some of the jokes and my 12 year old had no interest in going – I took him to see American Idiot‘s stage production a few months ago at the same theatre!
I’ve taken my 7 year old to several high quality stage productions and he says that this is one of his favourites! ….And yes, expect to be suckered into buying tchotchkas!
Shrek the Musical is presented by Dancap Productions. It’s currently playing at the Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street) until April 1, 2012. Tickets can be purchased at Shrek The Musical – Dancap Productions Website