Ogre There!: Shrek the Musical Opens in Seattle Sept. 10

By Andrew Gans
September 10, 2008

Shrek the Musical — based on the story and characters from William Steig's "Shrek!" and the blockbuster DreamWorks Animation film of the same name — officially opens at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre Sept. 10. Previews began Aug. 14.



Directed by Jason Moore (Avenue Q and the Carnegie Hall Jerry Springer — The Opera), the production will play the Washington venue through Sept. 21.

Following its out-of-town tryout, Shrek will arrive at New York's Broadway Theatre Nov. 8 with an official opening scheduled for Dec. 14.

Playbill.com recently reported that Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Rob Ashford will lend a hand in the shaping of the new Broadway-bound musical. Ashford flew into Seattle Sept. 2 to assist director Moore. "I called Rob Ashford and asked him to come out and take a look at the show," Moore recently told Playbill.com. "We've been adding three or four new musical numbers…. We want to get as much accomplished here as we can. Rob got here last night. He'll be with us through Seattle. It will be another pair of hands on deck." To read Playbill.com's interview with director Moore, click here.

Brian d'Arcy James, the singing actor who was recently seen in the Off-Broadway musical Next to Normal, plays the title role of the lovable 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 comprises 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."

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.

Josh Prince has choreographed the production, which features 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 Seattle run, priced $31-$90, are available by calling (206) 625-1900 or by visiting www.5thavenue.org.

Tickets for the Broadway run are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.

Visit www.shrekthemusical.com for more information.