BWW Reviews: SHREK THE MUSICAL at the Capitol Theatre is a Big, Bright, Beautiful Show for the Whole Family

BW-Reviews-SHREK-THE-MUSICAL-at-the-Capitol-Theatre-is-Big-Bright-Beautiful-20010101

The national tour of Shrek the Musical, currently playing at the Capitol Theatre, is a big, bright, beautiful show the whole family will absolutely love.

Shrek the Musical, based on the popular Dreamworks animated film and the children's book by William Steig, features book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori.

Shrek is a disagreeable ogre who must save the Princess Fiona from a tower in order to reclaim his home from the small-statured tyrant Lord Farquaad. Along the way, he makes unexpected emotional connections with both the princess and a feisty donkey, learning that things aren't always what they seem and that love can be found in the most unexpected places.

Although it received a number of Tony nominations, this is a show that has never received the acclaim it deserves. The music is tuneful and thrilling, and the lyrics provide a wonderfully bittersweet mixture of humor and emotion. The entire musical is filled with both delightfully funny and unexpectedly poignant moments. Every audience member, no matter their age or entertainment preferences, will leave the theatre with something (or more likely, many things) they loved.

The cast members all do justice to their iconic characters. Perry Sook, in the title role, exudes the surliness required of him while still inviting the audience to peer into the ogre's soul. Whitney Winfield as Princess Fiona has a clear, beautiful singing voice and an amusing sense of mischief in her performance. Jeremy Gaston as Donkey inhabits his character with soul and pizzazz. Christian Marriner as Lord Farquaad would be hilarious even without the clever, showstopping sight gags that make every one of his appearances an event. The fairy tale creatures, played by the talented ensemble members, inject excitement into every scene they're a part of.

The Tony-winning costumes by Tim Hatley are colorful, imaginative, detailed, and gorgeous. Combined with the wig/hair design and makeup design (provided by Broadway and Hollywood veterans David BrIan Brown and Naomi Donne, respectively), they are a creative force to be reckoned with.

It is unfortunate that Tim Hatley's original Broadway scenic designs were deemed unfit for touring, as they were much more than a cut above the uninspired drops and painted scenery that are the featured aspect of the current tour set. However, some of the stage pictures are still quite lovely. The lighting by Paul Miller plays a large role in that, including a brilliant sun/moon that rises and sets as time passes.

If you've never seen Shrek the Musical, you would be surprised at the character development and pure fun you've been missing out on. You've simply never seen the story of Shrek told this way before. Any fan of the Shrek films, or the musical genre, or both, is bound to love this refreshing production.

Shrek the Musical plays the Capitol Theatre for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 3, 2013. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.arttix.org.

Photo Credit: L-R Perry Sook as Shrek, Jeremy Gaston as Donkey, and Whitney Winfield as Fiona. Photo by LvR / paparazzibyappointment

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