Shrek Is an Ogre-sized Success

By SAM NEWMAN

Photos by ALANNA LEVINE

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What do you get when you combine Pinocchio, the Wicked Witch, the Three Blind Mice, an ogre, a donkey, and a dragon? “Shrek the Musical!” After months of rehearsals, Jericho High School’s Harlequin Players premiered their spring musical on March 12th for a sold-out audience. Filled with plenty of laughs, ambitious dance numbers, and catchy songs, “Shrek the Musical” is a great show for the entire family.

Starring the hilarious senior duo Gregory Chestler as Shrek and Kendra Kirby as Donkey, this must-see pair keeps the audience laughing from the second they grace the (only available) stage at Jericho High School.

The show’s lighting designer Mr. Verderber has worked with Chestler and Kirby since middle school, and said of the two, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch Gregory and Kendra perform all of these years.”

The show chronicles a grumpy Shrek’s journey to Duloc to convince Lord Farquaad to remove the fairytale creatures that are populating his swamp. The story recounts all of the hilarious shenanigans that occur along the way including the main task of rescuing Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower. Princess Fiona is played by sophomore Abigail Goldman, and the role allows her many opportunities to share her extraordinary voice and impressive dancing abilities.

The show also features seniors Rebekah Berger, Cassandra Heah, and Bianca Benayoun, interchangeably, as the Three Blind Mice and the Three Pigs. Berger and Heah also feature as younger versions of Fiona. Junior Edward Tan is extremely entertaining as the very short Lord Farquaad.

First-time director Ms. Rinaudo decided not to cut anyone who wanted to be in the show, which resulted in the musical boasting a cast with a whopping 42 people.  “I believe my life is richer because they are now a part of it,” said Rinaudo. “This has been one of the best experiences I have had at Jericho High School.”

Assistant director Ms. Arnesen is amazed at the production and how “the students pulled together to put on such a great show.”

Dance teacher Ms. Naab, who choreographed the show for the first time this year, said, “I am so thankful to the entire cast for their hard work. It was an honor to watch the cast grow and learn from each other. It is a great show and the students should be very proud of themselves!”

“It was quite impressive for a school show,” said senior Bari York, who saw the play on opening night. Senior Jessie Cooper agreed with York, saying, “It was a great show that is perfect for all ages.”

The show will continue to run on March 13th and March 14th in the Little Theater at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $12 at the door and $10 in advance and can be purchased in Mr. Mankowich’s office.

 

4 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • Grace Mok
    18 March 2015 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    This was a seriously amazing show with very talented and hardworking people involved across the board. Without the work of all the actors, teachers, student volunteers and musicians, the show couldn’t have been so dynamic and entertaining. Yet, as noted on social media, the pit musicians are conspicuously unappreciated for their work. Dressed in black and designated to play background music, it’s easy to forget how wonderfully they create the ambiance of the show and complete the voices of the actors, but some recognition for their contributions to the show should be in order. If possible, this article ought to be edited to recognize the pit.

  • Suha Syed
    16 March 2015 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    It was so amazing. Enjoyed every single second of it.. the cast was just PHENOMENAL. Abby looked just like a regal beauty and Greg pulled off Shrek’s voice without a flaw. Kendra was hilarious and all the adorable fairytale creatures, from Pinocchio, The three piglets and the mat hatter.. amazing costumes and choreography. I’m so happy I got to volunteer by handing out playbills and collecting tickets, and getting close with the cast and crew! 5 million stars 🙂

  • Natalie Drebsky/Mrs. Dee
    16 March 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

    AMAZING. BROADWAY CALIBER SHOW. I took my son, age 12, to see this fantastic production. We both enjoyed it and came home raving about it! Each person who took part in this great show should feel enormously proud of themselves.

  • Mellene Hederian
    15 March 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I went Friday night and the show was absolutely incredible! Literally everything impressed me: the costumes, the sets, the singing, the dancing, the acting, the delivery of punch lines! Emma and Kendra were spot on and hilarious and I can’t get over Abby’s incredible voice! Greg pulled off sounding exactly like Shrek and I am so proud of everyone involved! So impressed- my husband and I were afraid we were laughing too loud! (I probably was….) What a hysterical, entertaining, professionally done show! I wish I could see it again!

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