Shrek the Musical makes large splash

Sam Jabour and Cooper Kerbow

Nikki Lyssy

photos by Alex Unflat


After four performances that left audiences fulfilled and in a frenzy, the curtain fell on the choir’s annual musical, “Shrek the Musical”, on Feb. 7. It was a refreshing departure from the classic musicals of the past two years, “West Side Story” (2014) and “Music Man” (2013.) Tickets sold out for the Friday and Saturday night performances so swiftly that a Saturday matinee had to be quickly added to accommodate. This was a first time occurrence for the choir, who usually only perform three times.

For senior Joseph Richard, the best part of playing Shrek was getting to work with his best friends, Cole Carpenter and Ryan Newberg.

“Getting to do it alongside Donkey and Farquad was was my favorite part about playing Shrek,” Joseph said.

Joseph was influenced by the crowd night to night.

“The more into it they were, the more adrenaline I had and the bigger I could make everything,” he said.

Junior Taylor Thomas, who portrayed Princess Fiona, was grateful for the range of emotion Fiona allowed her to convey to her audiences.

“[In the beginning], I wanted to show the character growth and development of Fiona’s character,” Taylor said. “Fiona has such a sad story – she goes crazy after 20 years in solitude. She’s never talked to another human being except her parents when she was younger. Yes, it’s funny, but she had her issues, and she worked through them when she fell in love with Shrek.”
Senior Ryan Newberg played Lord Farquad, the show’s famous and funny villain, and was able to prepare for the role beforehand.

“The biggest thing I did was watch the Netflix version [of Shrek the Musical] and study him as a person and as a character,” Ryan said. “It was awesome; I loved it.”

Out of his numbers in the show, Ryan’s favorite was “What’s Up, Duloch?” which he performed alongside the junior class.

“The juniors were great, and the song is fun and [high-pitched],” Ryan said.

Because Lord Farquad is such a short character, Ryan spent the entire show on his knees. He wore two sets of knee pads, and, weeks later, still had bruises. Ryan said this was by far the part of the show that presented the most tribulation.

“You would think the challenge would be memorizing the lines and songs, but it was working with the costume and being on my knees the entire musical,” Ryan said. “Luckily, with the amazing help of others, I was able to pull it off.”

For Ryan, the most rewarding part was the audience reaction after each show.

“I wasn’t expecting the standing ovation at the end, but it was amazing. It blew me away.”

Senior Ali Germann, who played lovable fairy-tale puppet Gingy, noted the differences between “Shrek” and previous musicals.

“It was a lot of fun because it’s all fairy-tale creatures, which are all make-believe,” Ali said. “ We got to use our imaginations with the characters and create a kids’ story.”

Ali felt confident in her role as Gingy as time progressed and the audiences loosened up.

“The more shows we did, the better we got doing it, so we got to play around,” Ali said. “It got better as the weekend went on. Doing more and more shows, you just figure out how to do your character differently.”

Senior Susannah Crowell played the role of Dragon, who saves the day by demolishing Lord Farquad before he can marry Fiona, thereby making him king. Susannah was happy with her appearance each night.

“I’ve never had such an intricate, beautiful appearance in a show. Having a team put the dragon’s look together with me (including literally painting me with glitter) contributed to a stunning onstage result. I’m pretty amazed I was a part of all that.”

Senior Kendal Lyssy, who played Tweedledee, was thankful for the role.

“Getting to play Tweedledee senior year was such an honor,” Kendal said. “I will always remember it.”

Kendal’s costume presented some challenges because of its large size and structure.

“The costume was a hula hoop that wrapped all the way around my waist,”” Kendal said. “It was challenging to sit down, and I got caught in many doorways. As I got more comfortable in my costume and character, I felt more confident.”

Joseph sums up the feelings of the cast after the show was finished.

“The most rewarding part was getting home early Sunday morning, getting to lay down and take a deep breath, and realizing that everything we had worked so hard for had finally paid off.”