Shrek-tacular! Baron Stage presents ‘Shrek, The Musical’

By on February 28, 2018

Featured players in Manheim Central High School’s production of “Shrek” are (front) Tyler Shull as Lord Farquaad; and (back, l-r) Jordan McKey as Shrek, and Gretchen Enterline as Fiona. (Photo by Missi Mortimer)

 

 

Get ready for some ogre-size fun! Baron Stage will present “Shrek The Musical” March 8 to 11 in the Manheim Central High School auditorium, 400 Adele Ave., Manheim.

Performances of the musical will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 8 through 10. A 2 p.m. matinee performance is scheduled for Sunday, March 11.

Swamp Party

A “Swamp Party” preview for children in grades four and under will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday March 4 at the Manheim Central High School.

This special event features a meet and greet with some of the characters from the show, games, crafts, snacks, and a coloring contest. There will also be a preview of the show and a photo booth where children can dress as their favorite character.

Children must be accompanied by a parent. The cost is $3 per child. RSVP is requested, but not required. To RSVP email myresponselist@gmail.com or send a text to 717-664-7403 with number attending.

 

The show

“Shrek The Musical” is based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture and the book by William Steig. It tells the story of a hulking green ogre who has retreated to an ugly swamp to exist contentedly in isolation after a lifetime of being mocked and feared. When Shrek finds that his swamp has been overtaken by fairytale creatures, he goes to Lord Farquaad to reclaim his territory. As part of a deal with Lord Farquaad, Shrek then sets out with Donkey to rescue Princess Fiona.

“”There’s a whole generation of kids that grew up with the Shrek character and the Shrek movies,” said Baron Stage director Max Hunsicker. “This is a show that’s similar to ‘Beauty & the Beast;’ they both started as cartoons and then were adapted for stage; which makes it a lot different from a show originally written for stage.”

He added that “Shrek” is a fun show.

“We did a serious, heavy show last year with ‘Les Miserables,’ so I wanted to do something different, and ‘Shrek’ is definitely more light-hearted and fun. I began considering what show to do this year as last school year was winding down,” he explained. “I knew which students would be returning to Baron Stage, and I tend to select shows based on the performers I have available.”

The other factor that drew Hunsicker to Shrek is the fact that each of the characters has an identity and a name, and even a line or two of dialogue.

“There’s an opportunity to develop the character. It allows the younger actors to get a taste of what it’s like to be in a role,” he said.

And yes, Shrek, and Shrek’s family (parents and siblings) who we see in the beginning of the show, will be green, thanks to special makeup and latex prosthetics.

“When you have big makeup, it’s always a challenge. It’s a different process for the actor, he or she has to be more careful about brushing against something and having makeup come off,” Hunsicker said.

Taking on the role of Shrek is Manheim Central senior Jordan McKey, who began participating in church performances in kindergarten. In seventh grade he began performing in other types of shows. In addition to Baron Stage productions, he’s performed with Manheim’s community-based iStage, Prima Theatre, and Susquehanna Stage Company. He plans to major in theatrical management in college. He said he’s looking forward to the performance as Shrek.

“This is a Shrek-heavy show; I’m onstage for the majority of the show,” he said. “It will be interesting to take what people know and like about ‘Shrek’ and shape it into something different.”

With regard to the challenge of the makeup and prosthetics needed to become Shriek, he said, “It will be a process, especially getting into the costume for the first time.”

Manheim Central senior Gretchen Enterline, who began performing at age nine, will play Princess Fiona. She describes Fiona as a very comedic character.

“She’s a princess but not your typical princess, said Enterline. “There’s a lot of fun in ‘Shrek.’ I like to play off the audience and make them laugh. This show has a lot of big singing, and even belching.”

Enterline said her most challenging scene comes at the beginning of Act 2 during a song called “Morning Person.”

“In the middle of the song there’s a dance break and then I have to go back to singing. It takes a lot of energy, and the transition after the dance moves is a bit tricky,” she explained.

Enterline plans to major in music education with a vocal concentration in college, so she plans to continue being active in theater, and to try her hand at opera.

Both McKey and Enterline encourage the community to attend the show.

“People are going to have a blast,” Enterline said.

McKey said the show’s underlying message is important.

“It’s a show about being true to who you are and accepting others for who they are,” he said.

The cast includes Tyler Shull as Lord Farquaad and Tristan Klopp as Donkey. Additional cast members include Nina Bonanno, Elise Deppen, Jonny Brown, Cassandra Forry, Abby Miller, Olivia Walters, Andrew Kerdeman, Savannah Heisey, Larissa Stern, Ligeia Stern, Nickea Metzler, Tenaya Metzler, Brooke Barnes, Jaiden Neff, Carissa Stief, Linsey Catherson, Rebecca Mylin, TJ Faulkner, Laura Forwood, Julianna Gingrich, Branden Rounds, Luke Weaver, Alexis Deck, Chris Lynes, Camryn Burkholder, Karissa Wenger, Mason Bard, Benjamin Gingrich, Nate Gerhart, Adrian Ryan, Amy Dombach, Khalea Kincaid, Francesca McClure, Alysa Merkey, Eva Noll, Sarah Rhoades, Jasmine Shirk, and Marissa Wolf.

Assisting in the production of the show are assistant director Johnathan Shuey, vocal coach Christa Schimitch, and orchestra director John Brackbill.

Advance tickets will be available for purchase on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 6 and 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the MCHS lobby. Tickets may also be purchased at the door prior to each performance. The cost is $5 for standard, and $8 for premium tickets.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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