Fairy Tales Get a Fun Twist This Month with Elm Street Production of SHREK JR.
Starting January 31st Elm Street Cultural Arts Village gets the "Once upon a time" treatment with the opening night of Shrek Jr., a ferociously funny and fresh musical based on the hit Dreamworks film and picture book of the same name. Presented by Kragor Orthodontics, Shrek Jr. tells the story of an ogre who takes on a larger than life adventure to reclaim his swamp, meeting a fast-talking donkey, a fiery princess, and a slew of fairy tale creatures along the way.
"Shrek Jr. is not only a show designed for kids," says Director/Music Director Nick Morrett. "It's a show designed for all! The themes of love, acceptance, and self-confidence are universal and tie in beautifully with this story."
The musical features an electric score by Broadway veteran Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Fun Home, Violet) and a hilarious script as well as witty lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rise of the Guardians, Ripcord, Rabbit Hole) The original Tony and Grammy nominated Broadway production opened in 2008 and ran for a little over a year. Since then it has toured extensively and has been a popular choice for theaters across the country.
"We challenge our young actors and actresses in every single Spotlight production," says Justin Spainhour-Roth, Elm Street's Education & Marketing Coordinator. Spainhour-Roth is also wearing the hat of Assistant Director/Choreographer for this production. "With School of Rock it was learning how to play/perform instruments live and with Madagascar Jr. it was performing in a very ensemble-heavy musical. Shrek Jr. has both challenging choreography (including a tap number) and very tight, challenging vocal harmonies. It's been such a great experience seeing them grow and I cannot wait to see people's reactions to the fact that they're so young!" The 22-member cast is made up of students in Grades 5-12 from Cherokee and Cobb County. While a good portion of students have been involved in previous programming, about one third of the cast is completely new to Elm Street, something Spainhour-Roth absolutely loves seeing.
The show is running for only weekend from January 31st through February 3rd and is perfect for families and audiences of all ages. Shrek Jr. is rated PG for crude humor and some elements that may be frightening to young children. The complete performance schedule is as follows:
Thursday/Friday/Saturday January 31st, February 1st, 2nd - 7:30pm Sunday February 3rd - 2:30pm
In addition to regular showtimes, Elm Street will have special Community Engagement opportunities for its audience members throughout the run of the show: Story Activities January 31st through February 3rd, a Reception to toast the run of the production following the Friday evening performance on February 1st, and an Ice Cream Social following the Sunday afternoon performance on February 3rd.