|Kevin Brown, Jr., Quinn Forrest Masterson,
Janely Rodriguez, and Deidre Cochran (photo by Tommy Sar)
Highlights of Artistry's production include:
- As the titular ogre, Quinn Forrest Masterson is an absolute find. I've not seen him on stage before, and he couldn't be better in this role. Funny and grumpy and empathetic, with a fantastic voice and great stage presence. He's well matched in Deidre Cochran as Princess Fiona, a powerhouse in her own right, and the two have an adorable chemistry and harmonize beautifully together.
- The supporting cast is top notch too, including Kevin Brown, Jr. (fresh of his star turn in History Theatre's Parks) as Donkey; Jon Michael Stiff as Lord Farquaad, bringing a new twist to the role, prancing around the stage like a drag queen in platform stiletto boots (as opposed to walking on his knees like the role is traditionally played); Janely Rodriguez as the dragon who is not slayed, but slays every song she sings; and so many terrific ensemble members playing multiple roles.
- There are a ton of pop culture references, not just fairy tales but also musical theater, from Wicked to The Lion King to Dreamgirls and more.
- Khamphian Vang has designed some fantastic and fantastical costumes, from all of the beloved fairy tale characters, to the ogre looks, to the dragon's fierce and shimmering red gown with wings.
- Christopher Heilman's colorful and whimsical set brings us to the swamp, the castle, and more.
- Nowhere but at Artistry can you depend on there always being a full pit orchestra, and that's thanks to Anita Ruth - Music Director, conductor, and arranger extraordinaire. After this show she is "stepping away" from her position at Artistry, but for one final time, she impeccably directs the 13-piece pit orchestra on this fun and catchy score. You can read about her long and illustrious career in #TCTheater here.
- What better message could there be for the young and the not-so-young than to "Let Your Freak Flag Fly" - be who you authentically are, whether you're an ogre or a gingerbread man or any variation of human.
Click here for all of the details and ticket information for Shrek, playing Wednesday through Sundays until August 14.
|the cast of Shrek (photo by Tommy Sar)
*Plot summary borrowed from my review of Children's Theatre Company's 2014 production.