It was nearly 20 years ago when Shrek, the monstrous ogre made his debut on the big screen and showed us what it meant to fall in love. Today, there’s a new swamp in town, Shrek the Musical can be found at the beautiful Welk Theatre in Branson, MO and it’s bringing all the feels.
Better out than in, I always say!
The musical version of Shrek answers many questions and takes a different path in the life of our favorite ogre and the community of characters that surround him. It brings out a lot of emotions and character development for two of our favorite characters, Shrek and Princess Fiona. The surprise is the emotional investment that expands to included many other lovable and annoying characters.
We learn that the 7-year-old Shrek and Princess Fiona had similar horrific childhood experiences. The backstory of Lord Farquaad will take you deep into a mine where they unearth nuggets of information that explains many disturbing qualities of the little guy.
Well, let me put it this way, Princess – men of Farquaad’s stature are in short supply.
There’s no doubt the main characters were fantastic and beyond expectations. Shrek, played by Logan Edris, is believable and does a fabulous job both musically and acting. He lit up each time Princess Fiona, played by Aubrey Reece, took the stage. Aubrey’s facial expressions, confidence, and enthusiasm is captivating and pulls the audience into the story. The two together are a perfect match.
My mouth was open and everything!
Donkey, oh my, Donkey! Kenneth Washington takes Donkey to many levels of humor, and before a word comes out of his mouth, you can feel the laughter brewing in the audience.
But for me, the biggest shocker was Lord Farquaad and Dragon. I don’t want to spoil the experience for you but let it suffice to say, the ‘little’ Lord had tears rolling down my face, and it’s worth the price of admission to see any single scene that includes the spoiled young man.
Dragon had a different situation because she is a giant and stunning puppet. When Mesa Mitchel stepped up as the fire-breathing love interest of Donkey, both visually and vocally, I was stunned. WOW! Mesa had the hardest job in the entire show and BAM!!! She owned it!
The fairy tale misfits were delightful. The powerful voice of Gingerbread Man, the curious growing nose of Pinocchio and the darling three bears are just a few of the smashing ‘extra’s in the performance. I was not expecting to connect with dancing pigs or the tooth fairy, but it was just another layer of surprise in a night full of parfaits.
What’s up Duloc?
The song, ‘What’s up Duluc?’ is a perfect example of musical numbers in the performance that added understanding too many characters. Even the citizens of Duloc that served the hypocritical master, Lord Farquaad are developed during a song.
There are many numbers that you will want to hear over and over. Your children will go home singing one specific little diddy for sure, and they will peal with laughter every time they sing it. (No spoilers)
Music provides an opportunity for the cast to be more playful and creative and develop their characters’ quirks and flaws.
I like that boulder; it’s a nice boulder!
The sets were not massive or overwhelming but pleasant. They were relatively simple, but they helped to set the scene. The story was able to progress without much distraction and allowed me to focus on the backstory of the characters.
There are 25 cast members who all have unique to their character costumes. Each piece seemed to tell part of their story and made me want to know more about them individually.
This is the part where you run away!
Run, don’t walk to get your tickets to see this show. Shrek, the Musical in Branson, MO, is like a parfait. Many levels of delightfully unexpected, thought-provoking, one-of-a-kind flavors.
Shows are during the summer through August 10, 2019.
p.s. Be sure and stay in your seat for the wedding party. I’m a believer!