Breaker Replaces Gregory and Other Changes Announced for NY Bound SHREK
Following a successful try-out engagement in Seattle, Shrek The Musical will begin preview performances in New York at the Broadway Theatre on Saturday, November 8, with the official opening on Sunday, December 14.
The Shrek The Musical creative team is making the following changes and additions to the show, in light of what they have learned during the out-of-town run, which they will start to implement when the show goes back into scheduled rehearsals on Monday, October 6.
Daniel Breaker will join the production in the role of Donkey. He recently starred in Passing Strange on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award® nomination. The role of Donkey was previously played by Chester Gregory during the Seattle run of Shrek The Musical.
The role of the Dragon will be re-defined in the show. As first conceived, the voice of the dragon was performed by a principal vocalist, supported by a chorus of eight performers, and, following the Seattle run, the creative team is pursuing voicing the Dragon solely by the chorus. Kecia Lewis-Evans, the principal who played the Dragon soloist in Seattle, has decided by mutual consent not to continue with the production on Broadway as part of the chorus.
Shrek The Musical stars Tony Award® nominee Brian d'Arcy James as Shrek, Tony Award® winner Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Tony Award® nominee Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad, Tony Award® nominee Daniel Breaker as Donkey and Tony Award® nominee John Tartaglia as Pinocchio.
Joining these actors are Haven Burton, Jennifer Cody, Ben Crawford, Bobby Daye, Ryan Duncan, Sarah Jane Everman, Aymee Garcia, Leah Greenhaus, Justin Greer, Lisa Ho, Chris Hoch, Danette Holden, Jacob Ming-Trent, Carolyn Ockert-Haythe, Marissa O'Donnell, Denny Paschall, Greg Reuter, Adam Riegler, Noah Rivera, Heather Jane Rolff, Jennifer Simard, Rachel Stern, Dennis Stowe, David F.M. Vaughn.
Shrek The Musical is an entirely new musical based on the story and characters from William Steig's book Shrek!, as well as the Dreamworks Animation film Shrek, the first chapter of the Shrek movie series.
Shrek The Musical features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize® winner, David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), music by Olivier Award-winner Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie & Caroline, or Change), and is directed by Tony Award® nominee Jason Moore, who staged the Tony Award®-winning Best Musical, Avenue Q and Jerry Springer - The Opera in Concert at Carnegie Hall.
Shrek The Musical is Dreamworks Animation's first venture in legitimate theater. The production was initiated when Sam Mendes, a big fan of the first Shrek film, suggested the idea of creating a musical to Dreamworks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg around the time the second film was in production. The musical is being produced by DreamWorks Theatricals (Bill Damaschke, President) and Neal Street Productions, Ltd (principals Sam Mendes and Caro Newling).
Other members of the Shrek The Musical creative team include Tony Award®-winning set and costume designer, Tim Hatley (Monty Python's Spamalot, Private Lives, among others), three-time Olivier Award-winning lighting designer, Hugh Vanstone, whose Broadway credits include Monty Python's Spamalot, Bombay Dreams, The Blue Room and Art, and sound designer Peter Hylenski (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and Cry-Baby). The choreography is by newcomer Josh Prince, and Tim Weil (Rent) is serving as music director.
Shrek The Musical is based on a popular 1990 book by William Steig. The characters of Shrek, Donkey and Fiona, and the other inhabitants of "Far, Far Away," have been featured in three major animated films and a popular television special to date. The first Shrek feature film hit theaters in the summer of 2001, and went on to win the first-ever Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. The 2004 sequel, Shrek 2, remains the third highest grossing movie of all time and highest grossing animated film of all time. The latest chapter of the Shrek story, Shrek the Third, is the 2nd highest grossing film of 2007. Shrek the Halls, the recent ABC television special, was one of the most watched TV programs of 2007.
Tickets for Shrek The Musical are available by calling Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200, (800) 432-7250 outside the NY metro area, or online at Telecharge.com. Group sales are available by contacting Telecharge Group Sales at 212-239-6262, or 800-432-7780. Chase credit card customers can log on at www.shrekthemusical.com/chase to access tickets for preferred seating.
For more information, visit www.shrekthemusical.com
Brian d'Arcy James (Shrek). Broadway: The Apple Tree; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Sweet Smell of Success (Tony, Drama Desk Nominations); Titanic; Carousel; Blood Brothers. Off-Broadway: Port Authority ; Next to Normal; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; The Pavilion; Flight; The Good Thief (Keen Company; OBIE Award, Drama Desk Nomination, Outer Critics Circle Nomination, Backstage Garland, LA Weekly Award); Pardon My English; The Wild Party (Drama Desk Nomination); Public Enemy; Floyd Collins. Film/TV: Ghost Town (Dreamworks); Enchanted (vocals); "Cashmere Mafia;" "Rescue Me;" "Neurotica;" "Exiled;" "Sax and Violins." Original company of Irving Berlin's White Christmas (San Francisco, LA, Boston). Extensive regional credits, recordings and concert appearances. Solo debut album: From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn. BS: Northwestern. www.briandjames.com.
Sutton Foster (Princess Fiona). Broadway: Inga in Young Frankenstein, Janet Van De Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony® and Drama Desk Award nominations, L.A. Ovation Award), Jo in Little Women (2005 Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Awards), Eponine in Les Misérables, the 20th anniversary of Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Grease. Other New York: performed concerts at Carnegie Hall (NY Pops), Lincoln Center (American Songbook series), Town Hall, Joe's Pub; Actors' Fund benefit performances of Funny Girl and Chess. TV: Disney Channel's "Johnny and the Sprites," HBO's "The Flight of the Conchords." Proud Equity member.
Christopher Sieber (Lord Farquaad) received a Tony Award® nomination for his work in Spamalot and later opened the show in London. Broadway: Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Into The Woods, Beauty & The Beast, Triumph of Love, and A Christmas Carol. New York City Opera production of Cinderella. World premier of Eric Idle's Not the Messiah, a comic oratorio, (Toronto Symphony). Off-Broadway: Avow, The Boys in the Band, and Pal Joey. Regional: Randy Newman's Faust, Paper Moon at Paper Mill, Company, and The Boys From Syracuse at Reprise! TV: "Pushing Daisies," "Johnny and the Sprites," "It's All Relative," "Two of a Kind," "Sex & The City," "Ed," "Guiding Light," "All My Children," and "Another World." Mr. Sieber has not appeared on "Law & Order."
Daniel Breaker (Donkey). Broadway: Passing Strange at the Belasco Theatre (Tony & Drama Desk Award nominations, Theatre World Award, Audelco Award), Cymbeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Well (Longacre). Off-Broadway: Passing Strange (The Public Theater), Fabulation (Playwrights Horizons), Pericles (Red Bull, Culture Project). London: How to Act Around Cops (SoHo Theatre). Regional: Life is a Dream (South Coast Rep), The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare Theatre Company; Helen Hayes Nomination), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (SCR), The Tempest (STC; Helen Hayes nomination), A Midsummer Night's Dream (STC), The Rivals (STC), The Silent Woman (STC), H.M.S. Pinafore (Berkshire Theater Festival), Blacksheep (Barrington Stage), Sundance Theater Lab, 2005. Film: Passing Strange (directed by Spike Lee). TV: "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Training: The Juilliard School; B.F.A.
John Tartaglia (Pinocchio, Magic Mirror). Executive Producer and Emmy-nominated star of Disney Channel's "Johnny and the Sprites" (now airing worldwide). John made his Broadway debut originating Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q (Tony Award nomination). Most recently on Broadway as Lumiere in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. TV: "Sesame Street"(12 seasons, starting at age 16) and several voiceovers. Other theatre: Carnival (City Center Encores!), Carnegie Hall and NY Philharmonic concerts. Thank you Jason Moore! To Oma, Mom, Ed, Dad, Coni, Mary, Carmella, Kathy, Donna, Rhonda, Laura, Jamie, Chris, Ben, Desi, Lars and all my family and friends and Penny-Thank you! MSL-ILYF
David Lindsay-Abaire (Book & Lyrics) was most recently awarded the 2008 Ed Kleban Award as America's most promising musical theatre lyricist. Prior to that, he received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Rabbit Hole, which premiered on Broadway at MTC's Biltmore Theater. Rabbit Hole also received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, and the Spirit of America Award. His other shows include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, High Fidelity and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theater, David wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Newline feature Inkheart, and is currently at work on screen adaptations of his plays Rabbit Hole for 20th Century Fox, starring Nicole Kidman, and Kimberly Akimbo for Killer Films and DreamWorks. David is a proud New Dramatists alum, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Juilliard School, as well as a member of the WGA and the Dramatists Guild Council.
Jeanine Tesori (Music) has written three Tony-nominated scores for Broadway; Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center, Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan), and Caroline, or Change (lyrics, Tony Kushner). The National Theatre production of Caroline or Change in London received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her first musical, Violet, written with Brian Crawley, received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award. She has received Drama Desk and Obie awards, and was cited by ASCAP as the first woman composer to have "two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway." She composed the music for The New York Shakespeare Festival's Mother Courage, translated by Tony Kushner. Film scores include Nights in Rodanthe, Winds of Change , Show Business, and Wrestling With Angels. She composed songs for the movie Shrek The Third and for Disney DVD releases Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II, and Little Mermaid III. Ms. Tesori, a graduate of Barnard College, lives in Manhattan with her husband, Michael Rafter, and daughter, Siena.
Jason Moore (Director). Broadway: Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias. Carnegie Hall: Jerry Springer: The Opera. Off-Broadway: Speech and Debate (Roundabout), Avenue Q (The Vineyard), Guardians (The Culture Project), The Crumple Zone. Associate Directing: Les Misérables (Broadway, National Tour), Ragtime (Vancouver). Writer: The Floatplane Notebooks (Charlotte Repertory Theatre). TV Directing: episodes of "Dawson's Creek", "Everwood", "One Tree Hill", and "Brothers and Sisters". Jason has a B.S. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.