The cast of Shrek the Musical begin rehearsals in Manhattan today. The production will arrive at the Broadway Theatre Nov. 8 with an official opening scheduled for Dec. 14.
Brian d'Arcy James, the singing actor who was recently seen in the Off-Broadway musical Next to Normal, will play the title role of the green ogre in the new musical with Cry-Baby's Chester Gregory II as Donkey, Avenue Q Tony nominee John Tartaglia as Pinocchio, Tony winner Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Young Frankenstein) as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber (Monty Python's Spamalot) as Lord Farquaad and Kecia Lewis-Evans (The Drowsy Chaperone) as the dragon.
The ensemble will comprise Haven Burton (Legally Blonde, Rent), Jennifer Cody (Urinetown, The Pajama Game), Ben Crawford (Les Misérables), Bobby Daye (The Color Purple, The Lion King), Ryan Duncan (Altar Boyz), Sarah Jane Everman (The Apple Tree, Wicked), Aymee Garcia (Avenue Q), Leah Greenhaus, Justin Greer (The Producers), Lisa Ho (A Chorus Line), Chris Hoch (Spamalot, Die Mommie Die!), Danette Holden (Jackie Mason's Laughing Room Only), Jacob Ming-Trent (Epic Theatre Center's Widowers' Houses), Carolyn Ockert-Haythe (The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town), Marissa O'Donnell (Annie in 30th anniversary tour of Annie), Denny Paschall (Chicago, Beauty and the Beast), Greg Reuter (Spamalot), Adam Riegler (York Theatre Company's I and Albert), Noah Rivera (Wicked), Heather Jane Rolff (Wanda's World), Jennifer Simard (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Rachel Stern (High Fidelity, Tarzan), Dennis Stowe (The Apple Tree, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), David F.M. Vaughn (Doctor Doolittle national tour) and Keaton Whittaker.
Shrek, according to a press statement, "is an entirely new musical based on the story and characters from William Steig's book 'Shrek!,' as well as the DreamWorks Animation film."
The production will play an exclusive world-premiere engagement at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle Aug. 14-Sept. 21. Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) penned the lyrics and libretto (based on the kid-lit character created by William Steig), and Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori (Millie, Caroline, or Change) wrote the music.
DreamWorks Theatricals is co-producing with Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions Ltd. Jason Moore (Avenue Q and the Carnegie Hall Jerry Springer — The Opera) is directing.
Josh Prince will choreograph the production, which will feature musical direction by Tim Weil, set and costume design by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone and sound design by Peter Hylenski.
Tickets for the Broadway are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.
Visit www.shrekthemusical.com for more information.