Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Is Shrek Drek?

Is Shrek Drek?

With all the changes taking place for the upcoming Broadway tuner Shrek - The Musical, no one would accuse you of being an ogre for wondering whether the show will be DOA.

Given the underwhelming Variety review for the Seattle tryout, which stated:
It also has plenty of flaws, but none necessarily fatal ... (Brian) d'Arcy James and (Sutton) Foster are a delight -- separately and together... Sadly, the same cannot be said of d’Arcy James and (Chester) Gregory. For some reason, the grumpy-ogre-plus-pesky-sidekick formula ... falls flat here, not helped by the static staging of some of their scenes.... Or it could be that the role of the donkey would be better suited to a character actor than to a singer-dancer — even one as accomplished as Gregory. Gregory doesn’t fare much better with his other partner, the dragon, played sometimes by (Kecia) Lewis-Evans alone, sometimes by a phalanx of women, sometimes by a puppet and sometimes by a combination thereof.
it probably came as no surprise yesterday when it was announced that Gregory and Lewis-Evans will not be transferring to Broadway with the rest of the cast, especially after the Dreamworks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg admitted that critics' reviews had been "spot on." Passing Strange's breakthrough star Daniel Breaker replaces Gregory (and suddenly the musical has become more appealing to me, a complete Shrek virgin, who has never seen any portion of the film franchise). Lewis-Evans' role as the dragon is reportedly being substantially reworked.

As if that wasn't enough, it had been previously reported that choreographer-director Rob Ashford had been brought in "to provide 'a fresh pair of eyes.'" However, Ashford's presence has yet to yield an official credit.

Whether or not all of these changes will shore-up Shrek remains to be seen. But given the overall positive response I've had from many Seattle audience members, the upcoming alterations may very well make the difference between Shrek success and just another Young Frankenstein.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 01 October, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In light of the reviews in Seattle, seems like a smart call to me. I heard show is alot of fun and Seiber is amazing.

At 01 October, 2008, Blogger Dale said...

I'm so curious as to how this could work but then I don't know nuthin'! The first Shrek movie was really a lot of fun.

At 01 October, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

I wasn't really interested in seeing Shrek before - the movie was just ok, Eddie Murphy's donkey was the best part. But now I definitely want to see it. I absolutely love Daniel Breaker. I think he's an amazingly expressive, talented actor. I loved what he did in Passing Strange - the way his body language said so much, the way he leaped across the stage at one point. I do feel badly for Chester Gregory, but I'm excited at the prospect seeing Daniel Breaker in another role.


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