Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre are hosting a deluxe encore presentation of the Tony Award®-winning 2008 fractured fairy tale, Shrek the Musical, based on the 2001 Academy Award®-winning animated movie Shrek and originally directed on Broadway by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford and choreographed by Josh Prince, on Nov. 27-Dec. 2 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. (Shrek made its Triangle debut on April 5-10, 2011 at the Durham Performing Arts Center.)
This vivacious national tour of Shrek, produced by DreamWorks Theatricals of Glendale, CA, and NETworks Presentations, LLC of Columbia, MD, and directed by Stephen Sposito and choreographed by Chris Bailey, features music by 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical winner Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change, with book by Tony Kushner) and book and lyrics by 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole).
The current touring version of Shrek the Musical stars Perry Sook as the big, green, smelly, antisocial, swamp-dwelling ogre Shrek; Jeremy Gaston as his smart-aleck sidekick and best friend Donkey; Whitney Winfield as Princess Fiona of Far, Far Away, the damsel-in-distress whom Shrek and Donkey rescue from a castle tower guarded by a ferocious fire-breathing Dragon; and Christian Marriner as the villainous Lord Farquaad, the nasty, brutish, and short ruler of Duloc who peremptorily banishes fairy-tale creatures from his city and forces them to take refuge in Shrek’s swamp, where they immediately impinge on the ogre’s much-cherished privacy.
The other misfit fairy tale characters who inhabit Duloc and Far, Far Away will be played by Matty Burns, Micah Cowher, Courtney Daniels, Megan Elyse Fulmer, Susan Leilani Gearou, Francesca Granell, Tony Johnson, Brody Karn, Jennifer Margulis, Alison McCartan, Michael McCrary, Schuyler Midgett, Tiffani Robbins, Robert Teasdale, Katie Tompkins, Maggie Tompkins, Kristopher Stanley Ward, Andy White, and Jeffrey Zicker.
“We are thrilled to send Shrek the Musical to theaters across the country,” said Bill Damaschke, president of DreamWorks Theatricals, “and for American families to experience their favorite ogre and fairy tale creatures live on stage.”
The 2001 DreamWorks Animation movie Shrek, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson from a screenplay by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, and Roger S.H. Schulman, was based on the 1990 picture book Shrek! written and illustrated by William Steig (1907-2003). The first film of what turned out to be DreamWorks Animation’s highly lucrative Shrek franchise featured the voices of Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, and John Lithgow as Lord Farquaad. Shrek won the 2002 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.
Initiated by British theater and film director Sam Mendes, Shrek the Musical is the inaugural effort of the theatrical arm of DreamWorks Animation. After the 2008 out-of-town tryouts in Seattle, the show made its Broadway debut, directed by Jason Moore and choreographed by Josh Prince, on Dec. 14, 2008 at the Broadway Theatre, where it played for 441 performances before closing on Jan. 3, 2010. The original Broadway production of Shrek starred Brian d’Arcy James as Shrek, Daniel Breaker as Donkey, Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, and Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad.
Shrek the Musical won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical (Tim Hatley), and was nominated for seven other Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (David Lindsay-Abaire), Best Original Score Written for the Theatre (music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire), Best Actor in a Musical (Brian d’Arcy James as Shrek), Best Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad), and Best Orchestrations (Danny Troob and John Clancy).
In addition to director Stephen Sposito and choreographer Chris Bailey, who recreate the musical staging of original directors Jason Moore and Rob Ashford and choreographer Josh Prince, the creative team for the current North American tour of Shrek the Musical includes NETworks Presentations executive director Kary M. Walker, tour scenic designer James Konzer and costume coordinator Austin Sanderson (reproducing the original set and costume designs of Tim Hatley), lighting designer Paul Miller, hair and wig designer David Brian-Brown, make-up designer Naomi Donne, illusions consultant Michael Magoon, sound designer Shannon Slaton, music supervisor Tim Weil, and stage manager Caroline Walker. The tour also features music coordination by Michael Keller, orchestrations by Danny Troob, incidental music arrangements by Tim Weil, and dance arrangements by Matthew Sklar.
Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre present SHREK THE MUSICAL at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27-30 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.
TICKETS: $30.10-$89.35 (including fees).
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/1250914.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.shrekthemusicalontour.com/video-gallery.
Broadway Series South: http://www.progressenergycenter.com/broadway-series-south (2012-13 season: http://www.progressenergycenter.com/event/2012-13-broadway-series-south-season-3171).
NCT BLOG: http://www.nctheatre.com/stage-notes.
The Tour: http://www.shrekthemusicalontour.com/ (official website) and https://www.facebook.com/shrekthemusicalonbroadway (Facebook).
DreamWorks Theatricals: http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/theatricals/ (official website).
NETworks Presentations, LLC: http://www.networksontour.com/ (official website).
Perry Sook: http://www.perrysook.com/ (official website).
Jeremy Gaston: http://www.shrekthemusicalontour.com/cast/andre-jordan.html (tour bio).
Whitney Winfield: http://www.whitneywinfieldonline.com/ (official website).
Christian Marriner: http://christianmarriner.com/ (official website).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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