An evening at Plaza Theatre Co. never disappoints and a recent performance of “Shrek the Musical” was no different.
When I heard they were doing “Shrek” again I knew I had to take my daughters. It is one of our 5-year-old’s favorite movies, which you know what that means — we watch it at least once a week.
This is the second time Plaza’s performed “Shrek,” and we also attended the 2015 performance. Luke and Rachel Hunt directed both performances.
“The message is clear — it’s OK to be weird,” the Hunts wrote in the playbill. “This story is for people who can’t hide their weirdness and for people who can, but shouldn’t have to, and for all of us who are occasionally uncomfortable with those who are different.”
It’s too hard to pick a favorite, especially with the talent pool that Plaza generates for every production.
I love that at least one of the four Plaza founders are in almost every production they put on. For “Shrek,” it was Director of Operations Aaron Siler’s turn. Siler was phenomenal in the lead role as Shrek.
Shrek’s sidekick, Donkey, was first-time Plaza actor Tomas Moquete. It was evident by how well Moquete fit the role that Donkey is one of his favorite characters. His facial expressions and voice inflections were on point and I was struck by how well he filled the role. I hope he returns for another Plaza production soon.
Fiona was remarkable; Courtney Sikora’s voice was incredible. I also loved seeing the younger versions of Fiona, played by Kylie Kimball and Miranda Barrus. Both matched Sikora in enthusiasm and gusto for the role and I foresee both having great futures in musicals. Barrus, who played Teen Fiona, was Young Fiona in Plaza’s first “Shrek” production.
Despite a lifetime dream of being rescued by Prince Charming, Fiona goes along with Shrek when he and Donkey rescue her from the tower after slaying the Dragon.
Oh wait, they may have skipped over the slaying part, as the Dragon fell in love with Donkey.
If I was forced to choose, Reagan Moss as the Dragon was my favorite character. Moss’ boisterous voice was unbelievable and really made the character come alive. She also played Gingy and Fairy Godmother so I loved getting to see her more than once.
I’d be remiss not to acknowledge all the supporting actors. I loved all the fairy tale characters, especially during “Freak Flag.” Kelly Singleton did a great job as Pinocchio, serving as almost a ring leader for the fairy tale characters when Lord Farquaad banished them from the kingdom.
It just isn’t “Shrek” without Lord Farquaad. Stephen Singleton returned to Plaza for the role. He achieved Lord Farquaad’s short stature by performing on his knees, with fake legs attached to his front. I can’t imagine how hard that was, especially during the singing and dancing numbers.
One of my favorite things about Plaza’s theater-in-the-round setup is that you get to see the actors come in a variety of entrances and sometimes they stop to interact with you. Talk about seeing my daughters’ faces light up when one of the actors stopped to visit with them in between scenes.
Behind the scenes, Nicole Wheat and her daughter, Marissa, did a wonderful job with the choreography. It was Marissa Wheat’s debut in the choreography world. Props as well to Music Director Megan A. Lillies, Stage Manager Stormy Lee and Sound Board Operator Haden Capps. Without their hard work behind the scenes, no production can be a success.
“Shrek” runs through Nov. 9. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a 3 p.m. matinee Saturdays.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for students and seniors and $15 for children 12 and under. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $22 a ticket.
Purchase tickets online at plaza-theatre.com or call the box office at 817-202-0600.