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Theatre Information

Virginia Repertory Theatre Shrek

By • Mar 21st, 2014 • Category: Reviews, Virginia
Shrek
Virginia Repertory Theatre: (Info) (Web)
Virginia Rep Center – Willow Lawn, Richmond, VA
Through April 27th
2:30 with intermission
$30 (Plus Fees)
Reviewed March 15th, 2014

 
Shrek the Musical is the movie, with music added, live right in front of you! It is directed by Robin Arthur, with music direction by Sandy Dacus at The Children’s Theatre of Virginia at Willow Lawn, where they always have family friendly plays.
 
I am not usually drawn to musicals, but Virginia Repertory keeps changing my mind this season. The music was absolutely fantastic, the acting was spot on from every cast member and the dancing was fun and unique.
 
For those of you who have seen the movie, you will recognize the overall storyline. For those of you who haven’t, here is a simple breakdown without spoilers. An ogre loses his swamp to fairytale creatures who have been kicked out of their homes by an evil Lord. Shrek goes on an epic quest to save a princess with the reward of getting his swamp back. There are many twists and everything is not as it seems.
 
Jason Marks is incredible and believable as Shrek. I am baffled by his ability to sing like a champ, act like a pro, and wear that hot heavy mask and costume all at the same time. He carries the show with ease! Much applause to Ronnie Brown (Donkey). He is funny and dynamic. Aly Wepplo (Fiona) has the voice of an angel! A special shout out to Hanna Clinton (Teen Fiona/Ensemble and my classmate at Thomas Dale)!
 
Nothing is perfect, but this show is close! One problem from a sound perspective, is when Shrek roars, both Shrek and a recorded voice roar simultaneously. This is somewhat distracting as they have distinctly divergent sounds. There were also some minor set issues such as a window that is designed to ‘shatter’ open kept moving during the scene, which drew my attention to it instead of the action taking place directly in front of it.
 
Set design, by Brian C. Baker, is beautiful and creative and matches each scene well. It is the most complex set I have had the privilege to see at The Children’s Theatre. It matches the needs of the scenes and the theater space equally. Lighting design, by Lynne M. Hartman, transfers night/day and inside/outside with smooth transitions.
 
If you feel like watching the movie “Shrek” this weekend, don’t! Go see it happen right before your eyes at The Children’s Theatre of Virginia. A great play for all ages (as long as they are old enough to sit through a 2 1/2 hour performance, the recommendation is about 6 and up), all genders, and all races…even ogres.

Photo Gallery

Hanna Clinton (Teen Fiona), Aly Wepplo (Fiona), and Ellie Wilson (Young Fiona) Jason Marks (Shrek) and Aly Wepplo (Fiona)
Hanna Clinton (Teen Fiona), Aly Wepplo (Fiona), and Ellie Wilson (Young Fiona)
Jason Marks (Shrek) and Aly Wepplo (Fiona)
Ensemble Jason Marks (Shrek)
Ensemble
Jason Marks (Shrek)
Ronnie Brown (Donkey) Robert King (Lord Farquaad) and Jason Marks (Shrek)
Ronnie Brown (Donkey)
Robert King (Lord Farquaad) and Jason Marks (Shrek)
Aly Wepplo (Fiona) center, and Ensemble Aly Wepplo (Fiona) and Jason Marks (Shrek)
Aly Wepplo (Fiona) center, and Ensemble
Aly Wepplo (Fiona) and Jason Marks (Shrek)

Photos by Jay Paul

Cast

  • Shrek: Jason Marks
  • Princess Fiona: Aly Wepplo
  • Donkey: Ronnie Brown
  • Lord Farquaad: Robert King
  • Pinocchio: Matt Shofner
  • Young Fiona: Ellie Wilson
  • Teen Fiona: Hanna Clinton
  • Dragon: Ashlee Arden Heyward
  • Ensemble: Brianne Chin, Keydron Dunn, Brent Gallahan, Audra Honaker, David Janeski, Carolyn Meade, Sara Ann Meinhofer, Todd Patterson, Mark Persinger, Joe Winters, Hannah Zold

Crew

  • Stage Management: Wendy Vandergrift
  • Sound Design: Derek Dumais
  • Costume Design: Elizabeth Weiss Hopper
  • Light Design: Lynne M Hartman
  • Set Design: Brian C Barker
  • Music Direction: Sandy Dacus
  • Direction and Choreography: Robin Arthur

Disclaimer: Virginia Repertory Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

This article can be linked to as: http://showbizradio.com/go/10019.

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