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Why the Shrek hate?

thegreatwhisper
Swing
joined:3/1/21
Swing | Joined: 3/1/21

Why the Shrek hate?

#1
Posted: 3/1/21 at 7:42am

I have always wondered what the aversion was to Shrek the Musical.  Let me give you my thoughts. 

The costumes are absolutely stunning.  The set and the set changes are some of the most beautiful stage work I have ever scene- especially the magic mirror into the castle scene.  The music is SO GOOD!  Every single song is just...awesome.  It is super funny and gives a great message: love yourself for who you are.  

Lastly, we have Sutton Foster and Brian D'arcy James....what more could you want?

So, why do so many people not like this musical?

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MrsSallyAdams
Broadway Star
joined:11/12/13
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/12/13

Why the Shrek hate?

#2
Posted: 3/1/21 at 7:57am

I found the Broadway cast recording underwhelming. Shrek's ballads felt repetitive. The chorus was indulging in grating character voices.

A few years later I saw a shortened junior production. They cut the filler and included the replacement song for the Dragon, "Forever," instead of the original "Donkey Pot Pie." It was a big improvement.

I think the libretto fleshes out Fiona in interesting ways but under serves the friendship between Shrek and Donkey. I don't love the tendency to play Lord Farquad as a gay stereotype. John Lithgow played him as a fop but also a genuine threat.

threepanelmusicals.blogspot.com
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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/6/12

Why the Shrek hate?

#3
Posted: 3/1/21 at 10:39am

I liked Shrek when I saw it on tour back in 2011 (god, 10 years ago already!), but I was less thrilled by it when I saw the pro-shot some years later. 

I think Tesori and Lindsay-Abaire do a great job musicalizing the characters of Shrek and Fiona. They find their way into the characters through the music in a way that feels authentic, and emotionally honest, without betraying their tough, irreverent exteriors. That was a huge hurdle to clear, in terms of making this show work, and they pulled it off IMO. I really like all of Shrek and Fiona's songs - I can see the argument that his ballads get repetitive, but it doesn't really bother me. 

The problem, for me, is that the rest of the show mostly falls flat. Freak Flag is a fun number, but aside from that one, most of the songs written for the side characters (Donkey, Farquaad, Dragon, Pinocchio, etc.) just feel like cheap, empty crowd-pleasers. And there's so many songs like this! Plus, I don't think they manage to re-capture the comedic spirit of the movie. 

Updated On: 3/1/21 at 10:39 AM
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

Why the Shrek hate?

#4
Posted: 3/1/21 at 1:26pm
No hate from me, the pro shot is done really well and just good fun.
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BroadwayNYC2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/16/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/16/13

Why the Shrek hate?

#5
Posted: 3/1/21 at 1:38pm
The show needed new direction. It didn’t mesh with the sets, it was somehow too big and too small at the same time. I did thoroughly enjoy donkey pot pie (out of town version), it was pure camp and fit the material.
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Jordan Levinson
Broadway Star
joined:10/28/19
Broadway Star | Joined: 10/28/19

Why the Shrek hate?

#6
Posted: 3/1/21 at 3:52pm

Sutton Ross said: "No hate from me, the pro shot is done really well and just good fun."

Hear, hear.

I saw Shrek at the height of Tony season in 2009. I grew up with the movie and quite frankly, it was one of my favorites as a child. The stage adaptation was very well done IMO and stayed true to the spirit of the film series. I was laughing almost every minute from what I recall. Tuneful new songs for the most part, solid acting all around, and overall, a fun night out at the Broadway Theatre.

The proshot is also a very good capture.

(heads down to the orchestra pit during the Exit Music)
Fosse76
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/21/05

Why the Shrek hate?

#7
Posted: 3/1/21 at 5:23pm
It just doesn't offer anything "new" for the story. The whole time I watched the show, all I wanted to do is go home and watch the movie.