Regional Reviews: Philadelphia
Shrek The Musical
Walnut Street Theatre
Review by Rebecca Rendell | Season Schedule
Also see Rebecca's reviews of Sunset Baby and The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful
Is an enormous, flatulent, anti-social ogre really the best property for a Broadway-style musical extravaganza? Director Glenn Casale's hilarious high-energy production of Shrek The Musical at the Walnut Street Theatre answers that questions with a big, stinking yes. Jeanine Tesori (music) and David Lindsay-Abaire's (lyrics) exuberant score sounds fantastic and the epic dance numbers dazzle. There is a lot of silly, but the humor is clever enough to make even the most jaded skeptic snigger. Best of all, Shrek shows off the stuff that makes the Walnut Street legendary: a deep bench of big talent, lush large scale sets, and incredible eye-popping costumes.
Photo by Mark Garvin
Feared and rejected Shrek the ogre (Nichalas L. Parker is fun to watch, but not as strong as the rest of the cast) lives alone in a swamp on the outskirts of Duloc. His solitude is disrupted by a motley crew of displaced mythical creatures who have been cast out of the city. To get his home back, Shrek must befriend a donkey (Dana Orange is charming), confront the tyrannical Lord Farquaad (Ben Dibble is outrageously funny), rescue the princess Fiona (Julia Udine is dynamite) from a dragon (vocal powerhouse Donnie Hammond) and bring her back before sunset.
The laughs come at a good clip, but it's really the spirited musical numbers that make Shrek such a joyful affair. Robbie Roby's choreography is vivacious and the seriously talented ensemble makes the most of every step. Mary Folino's lush and vibrant costumes are stunning. Robert Kovach's elaborate sets are fit for a fairy tale. Richard Bay's truly creative puppetry adds a touch of magic. If you're looking for a way to delight and dazzle your loved ones this holiday season Shrek The Musical might be just the ticket.
Shrek The Musical runs through January 5, 2020, at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia PA. For tickets and information call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787 or visit www.walnutstreettheatre.org or Ticketmaster.
Young Shrek/Dwarf: Sean O'neill, Eddie Sims
Shrek: Nichalas L. Parker
Princess Fiona: Julia Udine
Pinocchio: Adam Hoyak
Donkey: Dana Orange
Lord Farquaad: Ben Dibble
Young Fiona: Maren Schriver, Ellie Biron
Teen Fiona: Camryn Josephine, Alexa Hunt
Dragon: Donnie Hammond
Mark Donaldson, Drew Franklin, Donnie Hammond, Jesse Jones,
Bonnie Kelly, Adam Mandala, Kimberly Maxson, Elise Mestichelli,
Cary Michele Miller, Dallas Padoven, Fran Prisco,
Taylor Elise Rector, Colleen Roberts, Audrey Biehl Simmons,
Chris Stevens, Elliott Styles
Mia Bompensa, Marley Ernenwein, Danny Hernandez, Nicky Intrierl,
Caleb Rosenfeld, Emma Scherz, Jojo Schlecht
Phoebe Hanson, Cecelia Kent, Greta Rebecca Kleinman, Emmalyn Koch,
Akiva Schostak, Aanand Shah, Alex Vacchiano