It’s not every day that a green ogre with a diet of rats and toads, not to mention very bad table manners is really the “Prince Charming” of a fairy tale. And once you really get to know this ornery ogre named Shrek, you learn that the real ogres are the ones that don’t allow creatures to be themselves.
This message of accepting creatures, no matter how different, so long as they are respectful and kind to one another is told through the story of “Shrek The Musical,” now playing at Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre in Frederick, Maryland.
You may have seen any of the four popular animated film versions of Shrek, TV specials, or maybe you read the 1990 book that started it all called Shrek! by William Steig. “Shrek The Musical” is a Broadway musical from 2008 with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire.
There’s much to enjoy in this shrek-tastic production directed by Bill Kiska and choreographed by Dee Buchanan.
The Broadway musical version of the story is about an ogre named Shrek (a shrek-tastic Jordan B. Stocksdale) who is shunned by the rest of the world for being different. He is living all alone in a swamp until a ragtag group of misfit fairy tale characters like Pincocchio (a lively Laura Walling) and Humpty Dumpty (an eggscellent Megan E. West) impede on his land after being castoff from the kingdom of Duloc by the land’s pint-sized ruler, Lord Farquaad (in an outstanding performance by Brian David Clarke). If Shrek can rescue Princess Fiona (in a no-holds-barred, hilariously lovely performance by Aimee Conley) from her lava-surrounded tower, Lord Farquaad promises to remove the fairy tale misfits from off of his land.
Reluctant at first to even have a friend, Shrek finds companionship with a lovably annoying Donkey (an affable Joseph Waeyaert). Together they attempt to save Fiona from the tower and the clutches of a torch song-belting dragon (a gorgeously entertaining Tori Weaver).
Overall, what makes the WOB production so enjoyable is that all of the performers are having such a good time on the stage. Watching the ensemble wear a trunk load of silly costumes as they sing and dance to the cleverly catchy and humorous songs put smiles across the faces of the audience, both young and young at heart.
Running Time: Approximately two hours and 30 minutes,with a 20 minute intermission.
“Shrek The Musical” plays through March 10, 2018 at the Way off Broadway Dinner Theatre in Frederick, Maryland. For more information, visit online.