Saturday, February 07, 2009

Shrek The Musical (The SOB Review)

Shrek The Musical (The SOB Review) - Broadway Theatre, New York, NY

*** (out of ****)


After just now reading Michael Riedel's grim assessment for Shrek The Musical's box office, it dawned on me that I've been remiss in providing my own assessment for the show itself.

You know what? It's not that bad. In fact, it's actually pretty funny and quite often borderline brilliant. The show deserves a larger audience.

Aside from the wonderfully versatile Daniel Breaker, whose take on the Donkey is nothing short of inspired lunacy, I realize I may just be about the only person on the planet who hadn't seen any of the wildly successful "Shrek" films first. For some reason, I always resisted seeing the animated features, so I was surprised by how often I found myself laughing early and often at this fairy tale satire, aided by Jason Moore's frequently ingenious direction and Tim Hatley's magical flourishes.

In fact, David Lindsay-Abaire's book offers a far superior and roundly satisfying first act. Not only does it completely engage with its sly skewering of Disney and Broadway fare alike, but it becomes a ginormous gutbuster when Christopher Sieber's hilarious Lord Farquaad lampoons both Dreamgirls and Wicked in less than six deliciously delirious seconds. It's moments like those that Jeanine Tesori and Lindsay-Abaire's score occasionally soars.

Shrek's top-drawer cast is led by the enormously talented Brian d'Arcy James in the title role. I've often said that this is one criminally underused actor. He imbues his Shrek with healthy doses of humor and heart. He's also fortunate to be supported by the aforementioned Breaker and Sieber, along with the absolutely fartastic Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, who manages to fly her freak flag quite well.

If you're looking for an escape from all of today's headlines that only an ogre could relish -- and let's face it, who isn't?! -- as well as a musical where you can see all your money up on the stage, Shrek The Musical is just the ticket.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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13 Comments:

At 07 February, 2009, Blogger Dale said...

You shouldn't resist the films, especially the first and third, they're pretty genius.

 
At 07 February, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Dale, Now that I've seen the stage show, my resistance is down. I want to see the films.

 
At 08 February, 2009, Blogger SarahB said...

Definitely see the movies. You'll enjoy them thoroughly. I'm finally getting to use the tickets I won on March 3rd. I saw it with Cody in January and we both enjoyed it very much - much more that I thought I would, that's for sure.

 
At 09 February, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks Sarah. I will get with the program! And I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this show.

 
At 10 February, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a show to make you smile.
and it does just that

 
At 10 February, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

It definitely worked that way for me. And even better, I laughed out loud. I needed that!

 
At 18 February, 2009, Anonymous Amanda Lindsey said...

The stageplay is great...the movie is too you will probably appreciate it more now that u have seen the musical.

 
At 24 April, 2009, Anonymous Robin said...

I took my 9-y.o. last weekend, and we both left with big smiles. As so many grown-ups are saying, it was a lot better than I expected. Better than the Disney machine, that's for sure. The leads were all so good -- it's a joy to watch actors that talented. The design was gorgeous, and the show was a lot of fun. I hope it survives!

 
At 24 April, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Robin, Glad you enjoyed the show, too.

Clearly the decent word of mouth is spreading as the show is attracting over 80% capacity as well as close to $1 million in receipts each week.

 
At 19 May, 2009, Blogger Cynthia said...

I have tickets to Shrek in Row B. Does anyone know if that is too close to the stage? One ticket broke told me it will be too close.

 
At 19 May, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Cynthia, It all depends upon how close you like being to all the action. If you're like me, the closer the better, but when I saw Shrek, I was in the fifth row, which was perfect to see everything.

 
At 28 May, 2009, Anonymous Amanda Crowe said...

to be honest, i hadn't really been too interested in seeing this one. i mean, i love the film. but the broadway treatment just hadn't called to me. then the show received 8 tony award nominations and i thought maybe there's something ...

 
At 28 May, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Amanda, I wouldn't judge a show simply by the Tony nominations it's received. I mean, Rock Of Ages received nominations over much better fare. But I do believe Shrek deserves a place among the year's best new musicals. Hope you enjoy!

 

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