Shrek features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire, music by Olivier Award winner Jeanine Tesori and direction by Tony Award nominee Jason Moore. Following a pre-Broadway engagement at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Shrek the Musical opened at the Broadway Theatre on Dec. 14, 2008.
Shrek the Musical is "an entirely new musical" based on the story and characters from William Steig's book "Shrek!," as well as the DreamWorks Animation film "Shrek," the first chapter of the Shrek movie series. The musical is produced by DreamWorks Theatricals (Bill Damaschke, President) and Neal Street Productions, Ltd (principals Sam Mendes and Caro Newling).
The musical, studded with R&B, jazz, rock, power ballads and old-fashioned show tunes, received eight 2009 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical, winning Best Costume Design of a Musical (Tim Hatley). The show also received three Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Brian d'Arcy James), Outstanding Set & Costume Design of a Musical (Tim Hatley); and four Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Brian d'Arcy James), Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster), Outstanding Set & Costume Design (Tim Hatley).
The show "tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that real friendship and true love aren't only found in fairy tales."
Later in the run, Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer" (from the film) was added to the curtain call.