BWW Review: SHREK Brings Laughs Both Big and Small
This weekend, the wildly popular SHREK THE MUSICAL closes Main Street Theater's Theater for Youth 2015-2016 season. It's based on the original Dreamworks animated film about the journey that an ogre and his silly donkey take to fight a dragon, rescue a feisty princess, and realize that friendship and love aren't just for fairy tales.
Main Street Theater has put on a wonderful production of SHREK at The MATCH. The musical stars Ryan Patrick Smith as the title role, Haley Hussey as Princess Fiona, Phillip Brown as Donkey, Danny Dyer as Lord Farquaad, and a host of other talented actors as hilarious characters in this Theatre for Youth musical.
Firstly, if you haven't seen this production of SHREK, then be sure you get tickets to this delightful show featuring some of Houston's finest performers before it closes this weekend. The show is genuinely moving, entertaining, and a fast-paced, all around fun time for the entire family. Don't be quick to assume you can't take your date to see SHREK just because the production is part of Main Street Theater's Theatre for Youth program. The performance is open to the public, and the narrative and jokes will have both children and adults raving.
The actors are energetic, engaging, and give standout performances. Haley Hussey plays Shrek's crass counterpart, Princess Fiona. In a role where over-the-top schtick and falseness can easily take over, Hussey manages to maintain an underlying truthfulness that shines through, allowing the audience to believe and fully embrace every word and action she takes on stage, resulting in a hilarious, engaging, and memorable performance. Phillip Brown nails it as Shrek's loudmouth sidekick Donkey. Brown brings exactly what Donkey needs: non-stop energy, impeccable comedic timing, and a surprising sensitivity to balance the character's raucous nature. Ryan Patrick Smith performs Shrek with the character's signature Scottish accent and likable earnestness to great effect, and Danny Dyer is superb as the annoying antagonist, Lord Farquaad. Other notable actors include Taelon Stonecipher as the Ugly Duckling, Michael Chiavone as Pinocchio, Sarah Konkel as Gingy, and Angela Pinina Harkins as the Dragon.
The technical elements work together seamlessly to build Shrek's world and invite the audience into it. Large rocks, stairs, and other set pieces are grand and majestic, rolling on and off stage to represent various locations, easily filling the stage at The MATCH. Towering periaktoi flip through each of their sides, framing each scene, and complementing corresponding projections just above the stage. The costumes and props all aligned with the set and performances, blending together to allow Shrek's story to be told and for the audience to relax and enjoy every minute of it.
I had a wonderful time at the show, and if you enjoy the crass humor and fairy tale storytelling featured in the original film, then you will thoroughly enjoy this production of SHREK THE MUSICAL. There are only three more performances of SHREK open to the public: Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10:00am and 1:00pm, and Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 4:00pm, so be sure you don't miss it.
Main Street Theater's SHREK THE MUSICAL continues through July 31. Remaining performances are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 at MATCH, 3400 Main Street. For more information, please call 713-524-6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com.
All photos courtesy Main Street Theater