"Shrek Captivates at The Atlanta Lyric Theatre"

Friday September 30, 16
by Gracie McBride, BroadwayWorld.com

 "Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek."

The fairy tales we all know and love get reinvented as this lovable ogre, sassy donkey, and spunky princess take the scene in The Lyric Theater's Shrek the Musical. The Tony-nominated book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music byJeanine Tesori have transferred the Dreamworks film to the stage in a way that will delight fans of the movie as well as please the musical theatre crowd. Filled with bright sets and costumes, catchy tunes, and a lovable cast of miscasts, be sure to catch it before it closes September 4th!

Starring Ryan Everett Woods as Shrek, Randi Garza as Fiona, Quentin Avery Brown as Donkey, and Vatican Lokey as Lord Farquaad, this dazzling cast makes the characters come alive. Woods and Garza have great chemistry, and some of the best scenes were the two of them just goofing off together, like in "I Think I Got You Beat." Brown's comedic timing was spot on and got some of the biggest laughs of the night as a donkey who just wants to be loved stole everyone's heart. But Lokey stole the show as the commanding Lord Farquaad, who used his hilarious physicality to the max, never letting it hinder him. He kept the audience in the palm of his hand by playing up the ridiculous ego of his character.

The ensemble, composed of Kayce Grogan-WallaceMarcie MillardAustin TijerinaJordan Balkwill, Kylie Blank, Amanda Bonilla, Jared Brodie, Chase DavidsonBrittany EllisBonnie HarrisJoseph Harris, AJ Klopach, Nathan LubeckHayley PlattTyler Sarkis, Jordan-William Snead, Mabel Tyler, and Kiersten Wallace, really made the show their own. Each quirky character was delightful to watch, like in "Story of My Life" and "Things Are Looking Up Here in Duloc." The cast as a whole had a magnetic energy that captivated the audience and kept them wanting more.

But more than all that, it is the message of Shrek that stands out to me. At the end of Act 1 Shrek says, "People take one look at me and it's all, 'Aghhh! Help! A big, stupid, ugly ogre!' They judge me before they even know me." This is a theme that runs throughout the show; that people aren't what they seem and that everyone is beautiful in his own way. I thought about this statement especially in regards to the two boys with Downs Syndrome who were sitting a couple rows in front of me. I watched them before the show and they were ecstatic to be seeing Shrek. They may be attracted to the show because of the physical humor and bright characters, but the message of their unique importance is the lasting effect of this show.

Between the hilarious characters, beautiful sets and costumes, and heartwarming message, this show is sure to put a spring in your step and joy in your heart!