Photo Flash: SHREK THE MUSICAL Opens at the Walnut Street Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre (WST) continues its 211th season with the
hilarious Broadway hit, SHREK THE MUSICAL. Directed by Glenn Casale and
choreographed by Robbie Roby, the production begins previews on November 5, opens November 13, and continues through January 5 on the Walnut's Mainstage.
The greatest fairy tale never told comes to life as never before in SHREK THE
MUSICAL, the award-winning Broadway musical based on the Oscar-winning movie. Areclusive ogre finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess. Throw in a short-tempered wannabe king, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other classic fairy tale misfits, and you've got the makings of a riotously dysfunctional road trip. Featuring all-new songs and outrageous humor for all ages, Shrek The Musical is ogre-sized holiday fun for the whole family!
Inspired by the success of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek, David Lindsay-Abaire (Book and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (Music) began work on a stage adaptation for the movie. The film was adapted into a musical that debuted on Broadway in November 2008. The production was met with great success and critical acclaim, grossing more than $46 million during its 441 performance run and winning the 2009 Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical.
Glenn Casale returns to the Walnut to direct SHREK THE MUSICAL. Casale's work was last seen on the Mainstage during 2017's Annie. His work includes the 1999 Broadway revival of Peter Pan, which received a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical, as well as the National Tour of Peter Pan and the A&E television production. He also directed Dragapella! at Studio 54, which was nominated for a Drama Desk and two Lucille Lortel Awards, and the National Tour of Dr. Dolittle. Chris Burcheri returns as music director and Robbie Roby serves as choreographer for his first WST production. Burcheri is serving his first season as the Walnut's Mainstage music director and has provided music direction for the WST for Kids series, where his arrangements can be heard in the upcoming production of A Christmas Carol. He also served as the associate conductor on Annie and Holiday Inn. Roby's work as a choreographer has been seen in Broadway Backwards (New Amsterdam Theatre), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (La Mirada and Pittsburgh CLO), Disney's The Little Mermaid
(The 5th Avenue Theatre), Hairspray (Sugar Loaf PAC), and Little Shop of Horrors
(Sacramento Music Circus). As a performer, Robbie was the dance captain for the
Broadway/Touring productions of Hairspray, Billy Elliot, and Monty Python's Spamalot.
Assuming the titular role of Shrek will be Nichalas Parker. Parker participated in the Walnut's Acting Apprenticeship program in 2013 and has since performed in multiple WST productions including Civil War Voices, A Funny Thing....the Forum, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter and the Starcatcher. He undergoes a costume and make-up process that takes up to an hour and a half in order to become the big green ogre. When he is not performing, Parker works as a resident teaching artist in Philadelphia, teaching students with multiple disabilities both at the Walnut Street Theatre and 1812 Productions. Everyone's favorite wise-cracking
Donkey will be played by fellow WST acting apprentice alum Dana Orange. Audiences may recognize Orange from his regional appearances in Sister Act (Walnut), Ragtime (Eagle Theatre), In the Heights (Park Playhouse), and Evita (Resident Theatre Company).
Completing the lead trio will be Julia Udine playing Princess Fiona. Udine was last seen on the Walnut stage in the one-woman show Tell Me on a Sunday. She has appeared in TV's Law and Order: SVU and All My Children, as well as on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, playing the role of Christine Daaé.
Walnut favorite Ben Dibble returns for his 23rd Walnut Mainstage production to play the conniving Lord Farquaad. Wearing custom-made knee pads, Dibble will transform into the pint-sized lord of Far Far Away. He recently starred as Dr. Frankenstein in this season's record-breaking production of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein: The Musical. Dibble's other recent Walnut credits include Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors, Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, and Annie.
For tickets and information, call215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting
www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin
Nichalas L. Parker and Julia Udine