BWW Review: SHREK, THE MUSICAL at Theatre Three
It is truly a pleasure seeing Shrek, The Musical. Based on the sure-to-be-classic DreamWorks Animation motion picture, the superb incarnation at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson boasts a truly remarkable cast. Running through June 25th, Jeffrey Sanzel wonderfully directs the large, talented company that is led by Danny Stalter - in his Theatre Three debut - as our favorite green ogre.
The story first follows Shrek on a journey to see Lord Farquaad, portrayed by Matt Sense, to see why Farquaad has banished all "freaks" to his swamp where he happily resides in seclusion. We then see them on a mission to save the lovely Princess Fiona from the castle she has been imprisoned in. Perhaps more importantly, though, is the vital message this tale sends addressing the importance to accepting yourself and others with any and all "quirks"
Mr. Stalter's big, green, supposed-to-be mean Shrek puts forth a mean demeanor, but he certainly has a lot of heart. This includes finding common ground with Princess Fiona, portrayed exquisitely by Jenna Kavaler, and allowing, albeit reluctantly, good-hearted Donkey, portrayed by Bobby Montaniz, to join him on the excursions. Mr. Sense's Farquaad is a highlight as well. Indeed a favorite among the audience is his hilarious rendition of "What's Up, Duloc?"
The entire company is really extraordinary. The majority make up the fairy tale characters including Pinocchio, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Three Blind Mice, and a host of others receiving thunderous applause particularly for their rousing rendition of the song "Freak Flag". You'll truly adore their outstanding, elaborate costumes done by Patrick Grossman.
And Randall Parson's set is stunning on the large stage. Hanging fixtures are moved frequently to represent the forest Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey have to journey through and Lord Farquaad's house is especially well done. This is enhanced gorgeously by Robert W. Hendrson Jr's lighting. Of course it is always thrilling to see a live orchestra (that is set off to the side of/in the audience). The band sounded perfect led by Musical Director Jeff Hoffman.
And so Shrek, The Musical is indeed another hit for Theatre Three. An important message, great cast, and some of our favorite characters make for a fun night of theatre.
Shrek, The Musical is presented by Theatre Three of Port Jefferson, Long Island, through June 25th.
Music by Jeanine Tesori, Book & Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig, Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, Musical Direction by Jeff Hoffman, Choreographed by Steve McCoy, Scenic Design by Randall Parsons, Costume Design by Patrick Grossman, Lighting Design by Robert W. Hendrson Jr., Properties Design by Karon Bagon, Stage Management by Peter Casdia
Starring DANNY STALTER as Shrek, JENNA KAVALER as Fiona, BOBBY MONTANIZ as Donkey, and MATT SENESE as Lord Farquaad with LEAH BLOOM, KYLE BREITENBACH, MICHELLE COSENTINO, SHANNON CUNNINGHAM, CORRYN DAVID, ANDREW GASPARINI, EMILY GATES, AMANDA GERACI, KATIE GUDZIK, HANS PAUL HENDRICKSON, ERIC HUGHES, HAYLIE KINSLER, ALEXANDRA MELI, PATRICK O'BRIEN, ANTHONY SALERNO, ARIA SALTINI, STEVEN UIHLEIN, ELLA WATTS, and ALEX YAGUD-WOLEK
For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com