I don't mean to be an ogre, but could it be that I'm the only living person who hasn't seen any of the Shrek movies?
I'm not exactly sure why I never took them in, but the longer I've gone, the less interested I've become. Perhaps I've avoided them because I've been told that they're too smarmy for their own good, and I've never been able to shake that notion.
So it's against that backdrop that I find myself less than excited about the upcoming Shrek The Musical, which already begins its out-of-town tryout next month in Seattle at the city's 5th Avenue Theatre -- the very same venue that proudly launched Hairspray six years ago.
The 5th Avenue Theatre describes their tryout:
This summer, the most beloved swamp-dwelling ogre of all time will make his theatrical debut in the World Premiere of Shrek The Musical, at The 5th Avenue Theatre. This all-new production is based on Shrek’s adventures in the classic William Steig book and Oscar-winning film. Joining Shrek on his journey from the swamp to the stage will be his wisecracking sidekick Donkey, Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaad and a chorus of everybody’s favorite fairytale creatures. With more layers than ever and a completely original new score, Shrek The Musical proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears.Shrek The Musical is due to land at the Main Stem's Broadway Theatre in time for previews starting November 11, with an opening night slated for December 14.
Now, if there is anything to get excited about, it's that Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, Or Change) is writing the music for its score. The fact that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) is supplying the lyrics and book should also have me intrigued, but we all know what happend during his previous musical effort. Knowing a thing or two about monsters is Tony nominated director Jason Moore (Avenue Q), who helms the show, yet the choreography comes from Broadway first-timer Josh Prince. You see, everything I see as good is somehow tempered.
OK, another positive is that the criminally underused, Tony-nominated Brian d'Arcy James returns to Broadway in the title role. Tony-winning actress Sutton Foster will portray Princess Fiona; regular readers will recall that it wasn't until my fourth attempt to see her that she was actually performing in a show, but on the plus side, I thought she was incredibly talented when I finally saw her. Other cast members include the Tony-nominated Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad, Chester Gregory II as the Donkey, Kecia Lewis-Evans as the Dragon and the Tony-nominated John Tartaglia as Pinocchio.
Nevertheless, with the lackluster critical success of recent film translations to the stage, along with some early negative press already appearing in some important quarters, I'm left still feeling a bit like a bogeyman.
So, I ask you, dear readers. Should I bite the bullet and see the "Shrek" trilogy on film? Will it have me thirsting for the stage incarnation?
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for Shrek Seattle tickets.
Click here for Shrek Broadway tickets.
Is It Just Me, Or... (Part III) (January 22, 2008)
Labels: Brian d'Arcy James, Broadway, Chester Gregory II, Christopher Sieber, David Lindsay-Abaire, Film, Jason Moore, Jeanine Tesori, John Tartaglia, Musical, Seattle, Shrek The Musical, Sutton Foster