Tuesday, May 06, 2014

REVIEW: Shrek The Musical at The Empress Theatre

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Last weekend we had our special Enjoy Utah “Meet Me At The Show” event at The Empress Theatre to see Shrek The Musical. It was great to meet some of you, and enjoy the production together!

We are huge fans of the movie Shrek, and we loved Shrek The Musical even more!

The first people that need to be mentioned in this review are the co-directors, Rebecca Walk and Jake Andersen. This production was brilliantly cast, and each person was phenomenal in their role. (One of our favorite casted productions at The Empress was The Scarlet Pimpernel, and my husband made a comment that Shrek’s cast was right up there with Pimpernel!). We saw Cast B, and have heard that Cast A is just as great. We are hoping to go back again before it ends to see Cast A!

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“It is the story of an outcast, someone who is judged before they are given the chance to show who they are,” Walk and Andersen said about the Academy Award Film, and Tony Award and Drama Desk Award winning musical. “While the story is filled with colorful and zany characters, at the heart of the story is the message that everyone is different and unique and has much to offer.”

We were blown away, to say the least, by Cassidy Dalton, who played the role of seven year old Fiona. She also played Gretl in The Sound Of Music a few years ago at The Empress. Watching her sing about being locked up in a tower, knowing her prince charming will eventually come, was stunning. She is definitely one to watch as her acting and performing career grows and blossoms!

Of course my kids also loved Shrek and Donkey, played by Michael Thrall and Travis Hall. Their chemistry together as “best friends” throughout the production was fun to watch, and had us laughing at the popular one-liners from the film.

A challenge with a production like this is when two actresses are cast for the same personality role, such as that of Princess Fiona. Karina Gillette played the role of Princess Fiona, and Carrie Johnson played Ogre Fiona. They did a fantastic job of keeping the role of Fiona constant, and made the transformation to an Ogre believable. We especially enjoyed watching the facial expressions of Gillette, and the consistent “Fiona mannerisms” that Johnson carried over to Ogre Fiona.

The way they portrayed Lord Farquaad (played by Geoffery Gregory) was hilarious and had us laughing each time he entered the stage. Gingy (played by Rossy Thrall) was hilarious with her delivery of “Not my gumdrop buttons!” and “THE MUFFIN MAN!” Dallon Thorup played the role of Pinocchio, and was another one of our favorites.

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We loved how the concessions at Shrek The Musical were customized to this production. Treats such as “True Love’s First KISSES” are always affordable at The Empress. My kids loved the Autograph Books, and enjoyed getting autographs from the cast after the production.

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There is no minimum age requirement to attend Shrek The Musical at The Empress, so it’s perfect for families of all ages. (Be respectful and take noisy and restless children out to the lobby.)

“Our hope…is that you will walk away from ‘Shrek’ not only with a smile on your face, but perhaps a softer understanding of your fellow ‘fairy tale creatures’ among you,” said co-directors Walk and Andersen. “Indeed, this is our story. This is your story. Enjoy the show!”

Get your tickets now!

Tickets can be purchased online, or at the box office 9104 West 2700 South in Magna. Get your tickets soon, because most of the productions are selling out!

Military Appreciation Night is Monday May 12, 2014. Visit The Empress Facebook page for complete details.

I was provided with two complimentary tickets to attend and review Shrek The Musical at The Empress Theatre, and was not compensated financially for my review. I was not required nor persuaded to write any specific type of review. All views and opinions are my own.

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