'SHREK THE MUSICAL' :Theatre Review by Cory Kosir
(contains minor spoilers)
I’ve been to The Grand Theatre many times in the past to see their main stage productions, and I have to say, Shrek: The Musical really is one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of attending. The songs were lively, the actors were enthusiastic, and the scenery was beautiful! For anyone who has seen the first Shrek movie, this is essentially the musical version of that story, with a bit of extra tossed in for functionality. While the movie is animated and can really have anything it wants happen, the theatrical version has real people, so there are obviously some limitations. This was my original belief, but I was gladly mistaken.
It’s mostly the little things that really make me happy in productions like these. For example, not only does Robert Markus have a spot-on Pinocchio voice, an obvious crowd pleaser, but some wonderful person working backstage even managed to find a way to make his nose grow whenever he tells a lie, followed by the completely appropriate slide whistle noise.
Another favourite was the first scene involving Callandra Dendias as Gingy, who is being threatened with the removal of those oh-so-sweet gumdrop buttons. Since Gingy is a hand puppet, and because Dendias completely hides herself while controlling him, this scene turns out to be the most adorable interrogation! Unfortunately, the second time we see Gingy, Dendias is also present as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and playing both characters simultaneously. Though impressive, it was a bit of a let-down for me as it took away a bit of poor Gingy’s realism.