Tis time for another Hasty Theatre Review. Actually, this one might break a record, that's how great my haste is. But I want to at least let you know Shrek the Musical is playing at Bass Concert Hall through the weekend. Warren and I saw it Wednesday night and it is SO FUN. Usually I like to overanalyze plot, see if I can find a connection to Edward Albee, and figure out how a show is destined to change my life. But this is one of those shows that is just PURE FUN. Super silly, clever lyrics, and some extremely hilarious special effects, particularly regarding Lord Farquaad.
I did a wee bit o'analysis lite and here's what I came up with: Shrek, the movie(s) poked a lot of fun at Hollywood studios and America's obsessions with name brand shopping. Shrek the musical skips the make-fun-of-Hollywood stuff, but more than a few of the song-and-dance numbers are gentle send-ups of Ye Olde Tyme Broadway. I could've sworn I caught a whiff of Ethel Merman in there. For sure there are some splashy dance routines-- like the Three Blind Mice number-- that recall a long gone yesteryear and tap-happy shuffle-ball-change. Oh, and Pinocchio leads an ensemble scene that is nothing if not a thinly-veiled homage to homos. I just LOVED that.
Something else to look for-- a show this clever, with such amazing makeup, sets, and special effects-- begs a musical whore like me to contemplate the mechanics. How in the hell does Shrek even live through two hours in that heavy mask, let alone manage to sing and appear cheerful the whole time? This show offers a whole lot to think about, something I could easily do while keeping track of the wonderful witty lyrics, great acting, and corny jokes. Like I said-- not a heavy show, not at all. And sometimes that's what I love best.
Here are details for the show: