Last night’s performance of “Shrek the Musical was nothing but magical. Walking into the theater you are automatically transported into a world of talking puppets, pudgy pigs, wacked out witches, talking donkeys and of course big, fat and obviously hideous ogers.
We are first introduced to Shrek as a seven year old adorably confused, sad and curious little boy oger (played by Harrison Strugeon.) When we meet Shrek he is being sent off to live a life of isolation and lovely filth in a swamp by his parents (played by Brady D Patsy and Jacqueline B Arnold) in order to preserve the very slim population of Ogers that are left.
Soon after we meet Shrek we a quickly introduced to a young Princess Fiona (played by both Haven Pereira and Miranda Gelch) who is being sent off by her parents to live a life full of pain, sadness, loneliness and fear. That is of course until her prince comes to rescue her from a very tall tower that is guarded by a big mouthed and instantly lovable dragon (Jacqueline B Arnold) who you meet later in the show. When we are skip by many years and meet the adult Fiona (played by Lauren Wiley) we see that she is confused, quirky and a little crazy. Wiley provides a sense of interest and intensity to the character of Princess Fiona that cannot be matched.
Soon the lights (dimmed) come back up and we are introduced to an adult Shrek who is witty, sharp and nothing short of crude (played by Lukas Poost.) The combination of this character and the actor who portrays him is nothing except pure perfection. Poost truly brings life and excitement to the character that he has played so many times before all across the country and parts of Asia.
We are soon transported to the land of Duloc where we meet the ruthless ruler Lord Farquadd (played by Benjamin Howes) who is clearly falling flat on attempting to compensate for his shortcomings. Howes brings life, a sense of fun and extreme likability to this otherwise despicable character. Every time he came out of stage (in a very unique fashion) he would receive nothing but belly laughs and applause.
When we meet a (very colorful) cast of supporting characters (I mean freaks) once they are banished from the land of Duloc by Lord Farquadd, we are introduced to Pinocchio (played by Will Porter.) He clearly serves as the wrangler of sorts for the group of misfortunate mishaps that are the fairytale characters. Porter brings life and fun to a character who would otherwise just be seen as a down on his luck freak just like the others. If you close your eyes you can’t tell the difference between Porter and what is supposed to be a wooden doll. The voice on porter is some of the most amazing and spot on voice work that I have ever heard.
When we meet Donkey (Dwane Clark) it quickly turns into one heck of an introduction. From the start you can tell that he has an immense amount of energy which is nothing short of just what the doctor ordered. His voice is full and intense and when he sings you can feel the passion and excitement. Throughout the performance he shows that true friends really do come in all shapes and sizes. Not only is Clark an amazing performer with a killer voice but he is truly funny and exciting to watch.
Don’t miss your opportunity to see if this multi-dimensional and quirky cast of characters including but not limited to the wicked witch, the three blind mice, the mad hatter, peter pan the big bad wolf (and so many more) can get their act together and find their happily-ever-after.
Tickets for the SHREK the Musical are priced from $54 - $79. Performances are July 7 thru July 19, Tue - Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, matinees Wed, Sat and Sun at 2 pm. Kids 18 and under save 50% on ‘Family Fridays'- July 10 & July 17 at 8 pm. For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit www.nsmt.org, or visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, SHREK the Musical is sponsored by Beverly Hospital a Member of Lahey Health.
Wood Media Staff Writer
Wood Media Theater Reviewers are a husband and wife team which includes Mark & Nicole Wood of Beverly.