Shrek: The Musical
Where: TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall, 505 Deaderick Street
When: Through Jan. 30
A lineup of endearingly freaky creatures, slick sets and costumes, plus a score that epitomizes Broadway musical bombast at its conventionally modern best (in other words, to the point of sappy excess) — these are the hallmarks of this musical adaptation, four years in the making and spearheaded by the DreamWorks commercial factory that produced the original 2001 Shrek film.
The original Broadway production opened in December 2008 and ran for about a year — not really that long when we talk about blockbusters. Still, major players boarded the Shrek train, including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), Olivier-winning composer Jeanine Tesori and director Jason Moore (Avenue Q), who was commissioned to shepherd the idea from concept to stage reality.
The material is based on William Steig’s original 1990 book, further inspired by the well-known movie, but also freshly amplified into a veritable revue of familiar fairy-tale characters. Shrek is played by Eric Petersen, who joins the tour from the Broadway production. Haven Burton, also from the Broadway company, portrays the feisty Princess Fiona. Alan Mingo Jr. is Shrek’s lovably annoying best friend, Donkey. There’s also a large supporting cast of players with plenty of big-league stage and TV experience. Presumably, the kids (and their parents) will love it.