West Windsor, N.J.– Everyone’s favorite ogre comes to Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre when the award-winning Maurer Productions OnStage (MPO) presents “Shrek the Musical,” a song-and-dance-filled stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film. Dates and times for this special family event are: Fridays, May 30 and June 6 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, May 31 and June 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays, June 1 and 8 at 2 p.m. A reception with the cast and crew will follow the opening night performance on May 30.
Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
In the Kingdom of Duloc, the classic princely rescue of the damsel in distress is not proceeding according to protocol. Instead, an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince! – has shown up to rescue a feisty princess. Add to the mix a donkey that won't shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairytale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand – and his name is Shrek! “Shrek the Musical” is part romance, part fractured fairy tale, and 100 percent delightful fun for the whole family.
Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, this stage version of “Shrek” was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including best score and best book for a musical, when it opened on Broadway in 2008. It ran for over 12 months and since then has toured nationally and internationally.
The show’s director, Laurie Gougher, notes that "Shrek" is an exciting show to both stage and watch. “There are a lot of great songs and signature moments from the movie, but I especially love how the world of Duloc is fully realized with so many memorable characters. There’s something in this show for everyone,” she says, adding that adults will enjoy themselves as much as children.
MPO, led by Artistic Director John Maurer, earned rave reviews for its production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” in the fall and “Avenue Q” last season. Maurer considers “Shrek the Musical” to be the largest and most complex production in the company’s nine-year history. The show features 35 actors, more than 60 fairytale costumes, scores of props, and 16 hand-crafted puppets, including a 24-foot dragon.
The lead characters include: Jarad Benn of West Chester, Pa. as Shrek; Kim Cupo of Fairless Hills, Pa., as Princess Fiona; Kyrus Keenan Westcott of Hamilton as Donkey; and Nicholas Pecht of Hamilton as Lord Farquaad.
Featured as citizens of the Kingdom are: Margot Bergeron of Hamilton, Evan Bilinski of Franklin Park, Addison Blumberg of Yardley, Pa., Wesley Cappiello of Hamilton, Justin Derry of Langhorne, Pa., Susan Fowler of New Hope, Pa., Charlotte and Rob Gougher of Newtown, Pa., Simon Hamilton of Princeton, Bridget Hughes of Jackson, Kristen Kane of Plainsboro, Rosie and Scott Karlin of Plainsboro, Jon Knapp of Jamison, Pa., Anna Kralik of Hamilton, Jonathan Logan of West Windsor, Amanda Mancino of Bordentown, Jaimie McMillin of Bordentown, Michael Mitgang of West Windsor, Abby Oliver of Hamilton, Sally Page of Princeton, Danielle Paglino of Marlboro, Caroline Purdy of Cranbury, Donna Reed of Bordentown, Aimee Robidoux of Levittown, Pa. Lexi Schlaifer of Hightstown, Dominique Shaw of Hamilton, Liam Smith of Yardley, Pa. Matt South of Levittown, Pa., Nicky Torchia of Langhorne, Pa., and Julianna Zannikos of Doylestown, Pa.
“Shrek” is produced by John M. Maurer, Diana Gilman Maurer, and Dan Maurer. In addition to Director Laurie Gougher, the production team includes Musical Director Peter de Mets, Choreographer Stephanie Venanzi, Costume Designer Kathy Slothower, Makeup Designer Vicky Czarnik, Lighting Designer M. Kitty Getlik, Prop Mistress Dottie Farina, Master Set Builder Jeff Cantor, Stage Manager Beverly Kuo Hamilton, Set Designer and Master Puppeteer John M. Maurer, Scenic Artist Amy Bessellieu, and Sound Engineer Nick Mastalesz.
Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Free parking is available next to the theatre. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request.