I enjoyed the movie, but I’m not one of its big fans, so the idea of seeing it transformed into a stage musical wasn’t very appealing. When I listened to a few samples of the pop oriented score I was even less interested, but then something happened on my way to Broadway.
You see, I had plans to see YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and Patti Lupone in GYPSY, but both shows closed before I arrived on Broadway, so I had an opening to another show and I went to the green swamp of SHREK where I was in for an enjoyable surprise.
This show has its heart on the right place, no one took it very serious and the result is a highly entertaining piece of musical theatre. If what you’re looking for in a show is an evening of fun, good songs, lively characters and a nice story, this is for you.
When a show has very colorful characters, you need to have a cast willing to give it all and who is also able of having fun doing it. I’m sure a true fairy blessed this production with a wonderful cast and, from the leading actors to the gypsies, everyone is simple excellent. There’s only one character that I didn’t enjoy, the Dragon; the idea of having several women doing the voice doesn’t work and even the puppet didn’t convinced me.
As Shrek, the heavy make-uped, Brian D’Arcy James strongly delivers his songs, Sutton Foster is perfectly goofy as Fiona (had her big moment with the delicious “Morning Person”), Daniel Breaker got the Donkey’s right spirit and Christopher Sieber is absolutely fabulous as Lord Farquaad, the villain of this fairy tale.
I’m not the kind of guy who likes pop music, but composer Jeanine Tesori give us an amusing score, that mixes several types of music, including a couple of more traditional Broadway tunes like “What’s Up, Duloc?”.
In his Broadway debut, choreographer Josh Prince shows he has the right skills to keep a company moving and enough imagination (“Morning Person”) and humor (“What’s Up, Duloc?”) to keep us entertained.
Like he did with AVENUE Q, director Jason Moore knows how to make an audience laugh and how to keep the rhythm of a show. He takes full advantage of the dynamic sets and funny costumes by Tim Hatley and the lively lightning design by Hugh Vanstone does the rest.
Much better than THE LION KING and THE LITTLE MERMAID, this is a entertaining show and the good humor is contagious. I just hope it’ll find its audience; it deserves to be a hit.