Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review of Shrek The Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Shrek The Musical. It was about an ogre named Shrek (Michael Aaron Lindner) who lived in a swamp and he had to go rescue a princess named Fiona (Summer Naomi Smart). He had to do it because a man who wanted to be king, Lord Farquaad (Travis Taylor)asked him to go and get her. But on the journey back Shrek and Fiona fell in love. It is about no matter how you look you can still love somebody and once you get to know each other they will probably love you back. It is also about friendship and getting to know somebody. Even if you don't like them at first, like Shrek doesn't like the Donkey (James Earl Jones II), when you get to know them you can like them.

I really liked the Dragon (Alexis J. Rogers); I thought she was really good at singing. She could hold a note really long and I thought that she really made her song kind of touching even though she was a dragon singing it. She did that by the Dragon and the Donkey having a romantic relationship, and since they are such different creatures, them being in love I thought was just really sweet. I thought the puppet was really amazing. I thought it was nice that they didn't try to cover the actress up so it looked like the puppet was singing. They dressed her up like a dragon as well, so you could see that she was happy or she was sad, even though the puppet wasn't a kind of puppet that does all those kinds of expressions. I went with my friend Lana and my teacher Miss Rachel. My friend Lana and I were sitting next to each other and when the Dragon defeated Lord Farquaad, we high-fived each other and said "Girl Power!"

There is a lot of girl power in the show. Like Fiona is not just like your regular damsel in distress. At the beginning it does kind of seem like that. But she's not. She's a sarcastic princess. She tears up books and she sings "I might have a little bit overreacted," or something along the lines of that. She actually tore up a bunch of books which is overreacting completely. She's not like "I'm going to just lay here and sing songs the whole day." She's an impatient princess; she's like annunciating a lot: "I. just. want. that. prince. to. come!!" She can belch in a very strange way. She doesn't just belch, she also farts. The song where she belches and burps and farts is called "I Think I Got You Beat." And I think that is the song where Shrek and the princess fall in love. I want you to decide who got who beat, and I'll give you my opinion. I think that the princess got him beat because it was Christmas Eve when she was sent away and Christmas is my favorite time of year so I thought that that was really cruel. But the point of the song is that they realize that they are basically equal.

I really liked the song called "Make a Move." I liked it because the Donkey had a backup band and you would never actually have guessed that a Donkey would have backup singers. I just thought that was silly in a good way. This musical makes you think about things you never really thought about, and never really intended to either--like donkeys having backup singers, and ogres falling in love with princesses, and princesses that can do a burping chorus. The backup singers are the Three Blind Mice (Sarah Page, Rebecca Pink, and Alexis J. Rogers). I loved how it looked like they came up with microphones and they happened to be sticks that help blind people find their way around. I thought it was cool how the Donkey put on sunglasses and then everybody was staring at him.

The Donkey was awesome because he was such a lovable character and he did a bunch of comical things. I loved it how, whenever he said something that was nice to Shrek, that he would take a step. "I like you Shrek." Step. "I think we could be friends, Shrek." Step. I also really liked how the Donkey was so amazed that Fiona called him a noble steed. I thought it was nice how Shrek and the Donkey became the best of friends even though they were completely different. Shrek was a stinky ogre who liked to be solitary and Donkey was funny and liked to make jokes. They just liked each other how they were.

I thought that it would be nice if some of the smaller roles had more time on stage. I really thought that the Ugly Duckling (Caroline Heffernan) was really good at singing and the character would have been good to be a friend of Shrek because they both weren't liked because of how they looked. I thought that Baby Bear (Matthew Uzarraga) was really adorable and was a great dancer. I thought if he would have had a dance solo that would have been amazing. The Big Bad Wolf (Norm Boucher) was really fun when he took off his granny robe and he was wearing a red sparkling outfit. I would have liked to see the Big Bad Wolf have a monologue about "Why do people hate me so much? I'm a really nice guy. Little Red Riding Hood is one of my best friends." I would like him to tell you why he likes to dress up like grannies and ladies and stuff. I like to dress up; I even like to pretend to be boys sometimes because I like to pretend to be what I'm not. You can pretend to be something that you are not and kind of feel like you are that thing. So that is why I think the Big Bad Wolf wants to dress up like a lady.

People who would like this show are people who like ogres, burping princesses, and girl power. I think this show should be for ages 5 and up because younger kids might be kind of creeped out by Shrek when he roars. People should go see this show because it is funny, sweet, and it is fun for friends and family to go to together.

Photos: Bill Burlingham and Liz Lauren

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