Los Angeles Theater Review: SHREK (5-Star Theatricals in Thousand Oaks)

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by Joan Alperin on October 21, 2018

in Theater-Los Angeles


The first time I saw Shrek The Musical was on Broadway in 2008. I loved it then but 5-Star Theatricals’ production has me really loving it now.

With book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori, Shrek is set in a mythical once-upon-a-time sort of land, where a hulking green ogre (the wonderful Trent Mills) — after being mocked and feared his entire life by anything that crosses his path — retreats to an ugly green swamp to exist in happy isolation.

But one day that all changes by the appearance of a talking, singing donkey (the fabulous Lawrence Cummings), who decides to become the ogre’s BFF after Shrek saves his life.

If an obnoxious ass isn’t bad enough, a gang of homeless fairy-tale characters (Pinocchio, Cinderella, the Three Pigs, Three Blind Mice … you get the idea) raids his sanctuary, saying they’ve been evicted by the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad (Marc Ginsburg). So Shrek strikes a deal: I’ll get your homes back, if you give me my home back.

However when Shrek and Farquaad meet, the Lord strikes a deal of his own: He’ll return their homes if Shrek rescues Princess Fiona (Alison Woods) from a fire-breathing dragon, as marriage to Fiona will make Farquaad king.

Shrek agrees and enters the world for the first time in his life. He travels to Fiona’s prison, rescues her, and then — scariest of all — is forced to get to know the Princess as he tries to bring her back to the evil short one.

It doesn’t take long for Shrek to realize that Fiona is very different from what he expected a Princess to be. She may even provoke Shrek’s scariest experience yet: Love.

The show has something for everyone. It’s hysterically funny, with whimsical puppetry, high-energy dance numbers and dazzling sets. It also has a beautiful message about acceptance in one of the show’s best numbers, “Freak Flag.”

The whole cast is great. This is definitely a show for people of all ages. Don’t miss it.

photos by Ed Krieger

5-Star Theatricals (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre)
Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
ends on October 28, 2018
for tickets, call 800.745.3000 or visit 5-Star

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