BWW Feature: SHREK THE MUSICAL at LIZ SPURLOCK AMPITHEATRE In CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK Hosted By THE ARACOMA STORY, INC
Many people know the story of Shrek, the lovable but fierce ogre who unwittingly becomes a hero to both fairy tale creatures and a princess, but many do not realize that the film was also made into a hilarious and heartwarming Broadway show in 2008 which was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won one. While Shrek the Musical has long since left Broadway, that has not stopped the show from becoming a favorite for many local theatres. In June The Aracoma Story, Inc. will be bringing this delightful play to the masses at Chief Logan State Park. Children, adults, and all those who believe in fairy tales are invited!
Show: Shrek the Musical
When: June 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 28th, 29th, 30th and July 1st, 2018 at 8:30 PM
Cost: $6.00 for Children, $10.00 for Seniors/Students, and $12.00 for Adults.
Where: Chief Logan State Park, on the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater Stage. 376 Little Buffalo Creek Rd, Logan, WV
How to Purchase Tickets: Tickets are available online through Brown Paper Tickets, by phone (304) 752-0253, or at various Logan and Chapmanville establishments including Gatti's at Fountain place Mall, Pic Pac and Man, and Aracoma Drug in Chapmanville. Tickets will also be available at the gate the night of a performance.
More Information: You can visit the Facebook Event Page or The Aracoma Story, Inc's Page. You can also call (304) 752-0253.
The story revolves around Shrek (Curtis Crum), a large and imposing ogre sent out by his parents at seven years old to make his living. We find him as an embittered adult, content in his solitude, living in a swamp. When a group of fairytale characters, including favorites such as Pinocchio (Conner Woodruff) and Puss n Boots (Grace Bell), show up on his door step, his regular routine is interrupted. He finds out that they have been forced to leave their homes by the evil Lord Farquaad (Tyler Kinser). Annoyed, Shrek sets out to speak with Lord Farquaad - not for the fairytale creature's sake, but rather to regain his privacy - and what follows is a rousing and hilarious adventure full of unlikely love involving Princess Fiona (Savannah Richardson), a talking donkey (Nathan Chapman) with a penchant for bantering, and clashes with a king of unusually short stature. The play features a book by David Lindsay-Abaire and songs by Jeanine Tesori.
I had the opportunity to speak with Bill France, Director of this production and a key member of The Aracoma Story, Inc family, about Shrek the Musical.
"Several years ago, I was cast in a local production of Shrek," said France, while explaining what drew him to this production. "I fell in love with the music, the characters, and the story. There really never was anything quite like it." During production, his mind raced with ideas on how he would handle the show if ever given the opportunity. "I kept thinking of things I would like to do different." Eventually, his chance came, "When I was offered the chance to direct it, I jumped at the opportunity."
France admits that this show has been done many times by local theatres but explains what makes his production stand out. "I have watched this show multiple times. Each time it was in a traditional theatre. It is a huge story that demands a huge space. Our set is 96 feet long, our castle is three stories high, and our dragon is 25 feet long. We are able to present this production on a grand scale." France adds, "even if you've seen the show before, you've never seen it quite this way. Our theater is nestled in a wooded valley in the middle of Chief Logan State park. Our beautiful facility is the perfect place for a show like Shrek. Shrek takes place in Storybook Land, we are surrounded by tall trees and a creek that separates the stage from the audience."
"I am not a fan of most movies that are turned into Broadway shows," explains France, "but this one far exceeds the original." The Broadway show spoke to France in a way that the film couldn't. "I honestly was never a huge fan of the original movie. It was funny, it was original, but it seemed to be missing something." France found that something in the Broadway show. "The main characters are all searching for something, they are all looking to find it somewhere else. They ultimately find out that what they need is already there."
As for the cast and crew, France has nothing but praise. "We literally have an army putting this show onstage. I have small kids, senior citizens, and everything in between." Indeed, the amount of people working together to bring this show to life is impressive. "We have a cast of fifty performers. If you add in tech, wardrobe, lights, sound, special effects, and puppeteers, that number jumps to 75. The cast is so excited to show off all their hard work."
"Get ready! This show is non-stop fun. We are going to take you on a journey like you've never experienced before," said France. "By all accounts, this is the largest production to ever grace our stage." For those adults worried that the story might be too childish, France urges, "Don't think that this one is just for the kids. They will get the humor on one level and the adults will get the humor on an entirely different level. It truly is a show for the entire family."
Complete Cast and Crew (Pulled From The Aracoma Story, Inc's Press Release)
Shrek - Curtis Crum
Princess Fiona - Savannah Richardson
Donkey - Nathan Chapman
Lord Farquaad - Tyler Kinser
Pinocchio - Conner Woodruff
Humpty Dumpty/Morning Person Dancer - Maddy Akers
Big Bad Wolf/Thelonius - Jeremy Bailey
Knight/Happy Person - Faith Bannister
Puss n Boots - Grace Bell
Tinkerbell/Happy Kid - Lilly Bell
Happy Person - Emily Bryant
Teen Fiona - Cassandra Carrillo
Captain of the Guard/Cow - Rodney Craddock
Mama Ogre - Deanna Crum
Papa Ogre - Tommy Crum
Guard/Settler - Joshua Faust
Little Bear/Moon - Jacob France
Little Pig/Guard - Elijah Freeman
Bishop - Steve Gray
Little Pig/Guard - Brandon Hill
Wicked Witch/Knight - Brittany Hodges
Ugly Duckling/Happy Kid - Jailyn Hodges
Shoemaker's Elf - Candance Maynard
Little Shrek/Grumpy - Peyton McCoy
Fairy Godmother/Duloc Dancer - Dawn Mills
Happy Person/Guard - Debby Mullins
Young Fiona - Rylee Mills
Blind Mouse/Duloc Dancer - Chloe Moore
Mama Bear/Voice of the Dragon/Duloc Dancer - Rachael Mullins
White Rabbit - Aisha Ojeda
Little Pig/Guard/Pied Piper - Jake Richardson
Happy Person/Duloc Dancer - Jaime Robinson
Guard - Kristen Scites
Happy Person/Knight - Aliegha Stone
Papa Bear/Guard - Dakota Stover
Peter Pan - Kai Toler
Gingy/The Sugar Plum Fairy/Duloc Dancer/Morning Person/Blind Mound - Haylee Webb
Duloc Dancer/Knight - Kailee White
Winged Monkey/Happy Kid - Drew Workman
Indian - Madison Williamson Director - Bill France
Music Director - Lisa Anderson
Technical Director - Bruce Baisden
Stage Manager - Tammy Thacker-Hannah
Production Tracks - William Bradshaw
Sound Engineer - TJ Starghill
Special Effects Makeup - Kira Lester
Spotlight - Dominic Rodighiero
Props Mistress - Madison Williamson
Wardrobe Team - Stephanie Akers, Staci Bailey, Janie Lester
Tech Crew - Cliff Hall, Kenny Gibson
Richard Allen is a Contributing Editor for Broadway World. He also writes freelance for various other publications. You can find him online at www.facebook.com/richardallenwrites or contact him via email at email@example.com