ASU students will get their game on with an all-star performance of Shrek the Musical this week.
Staff and students of the Lyric Opera Theatre at ASU will host five showings of the play opening Thursday night and stretching through the weekend until Sunday.
The play is being directed by Matthew Wiener and will feature music by Jeanine Tesori. The lyrics were written by David Lindsay-Abaire.
This is the last play the Lyric Opera Theatre will be performing for this season.
This is the second time that musical theater junior Elyssa Blonder has performed the play. She originally performed it in a high school production at the Valley Youth Theater, she said.
Shrek is a popular movie that a lot of people grew up on and are familiar with, Blonder said. She will be playing one of the lead roles as Princess Fiona.
“It is fun to put on a show that the audience knows so well,” she said.
Freshman musical theater major Julian Mendoza will have roles as one of the Three LIttle Pigs and a Duloc Dancer.
The play follows the same basic plot line as the film, Mendoza said. But there are some differences.
One of the notable differences is that the play will focus much more on the back story of the characters, Mendoza said. The audience will have a chance to see Shrek’s parents and learn more about how he ended up the way he did.
Blonder said that the audience will also get to learn more about Fiona’s past. There is a musical number featuring three different aged versions of Fiona in which they sing about the fairy tale rescue that they have dreamed of for “8,423 days.”
Kate Leonard graduated from the School of Music with BA in theater and is currently working as the stage manager for the production. As stage manager, she is in charge of much of what happens on stage, she said.
Leonard said that the Shrek play is the biggest play the theater has put on since its production of “Rent.”
“The play features 10 moving set pieces, 35 cast members, one dragon and a 20-foot rotating turntable,” Leonard said.
The dragon is operated by a team of four puppeteers and is on loan from the Arizona Broadway Theatre, Leonard said.
Shrek is a pop-culture phenomenon, Leonard said. People who enjoyed the movie are likely to enjoy the play despite its differences.
“This is Shrek: The Musical,” Leonard said. “Not Shrek: The Movie: The Musical.”
Another unique difference from the screen to the stage is the character of Donkey, Leonard said. Specifically, the character will carry a Jamaican accent.
It is a fantastic play and everyone should try to see it, Mendoza said.
“It has house-shaking musical numbers and will leave you on the edge of your seat begging for more Shrek,” he said. “And everyone needs a little Shrek in their life.”