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  Play Details

Shrek The Musical

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

Based on the Academy Award-winning DreamWorks film and the book by William Steig, CST's 75-minute production of Shrek The Musical, staged by Jeff Award-winning director Rachel Rockwell, tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim his once-secluded home. Accompanied by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon and rescues the cursed princess Fiona, discovering the value of friendship and realizing that true love is more than skin deep.

Thru - Sep 1, 2013



Price: $18-$25

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Running Time: 1hr, 15mins; no intermission

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  Shrek The Musical Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...This young-audiences version of "Shrek" is abbreviated; it's about half the material that was in the tour that played downtown Chicago a couple of years ago. I wouldn't say you miss the half that hit the cutting-room floor (all of Jeanine Tesori's best songs are still there), but the chopping board also exacerbated the show's frenetic element. There's so much plot to fit in now, the characters have even less room to breathe, and there's even less opportunity to establish credible relationships."
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Chris Jones


NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...“Shrek” showcases some of the best Rockwell choreography I’ve seen, in part because she’s able to show off her awesome knack for physical humor and all things kitschy. So many of this production’s funniest morsels are contained in her dance and movement, and the broad physicality energetically establishes the strange world of Duloc. However, Mike Tutaj’s projections are actually a little too detailed, recalling a video game. His designs don’t gel with Scott Davis’ quickly morphing set, which begins with a look into yourself mirror and is framed by green angular boards. Theresa Ham’s costumes are a triumph of creativity; Pinocchio (Adam Fane) wears tights that are as much a rebellious fashion statement as they are pinewood lookalikes, and sitting atop Shrek’s head is a green knit hat that creates his ogre ears that resembles a cap a Bears fan might war at Solider Field in frigid cold."
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Johnny Oleksinski


Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...And Rockwell's blessed with a terrific cast and crack design team. Michael Aaron Lindner's titular ogre hides his glumness behind a booming voice, and James Earl Jones II and Travis Taylor squeeze every drop of comic juice out of their roles as Donkey and Lord Farquaad, respectively. Theresa Ham's delightful costumes and Melissa Veal's clever wig and make-up design smartly reimagine the fairy-tale characters' looks, while Rockwell's inventive choreography is nicely executed by the entire cast (including some frighteningly talented kid actors). There's actually a good reason for even non-tourists to hit the pier on a summer's day."
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Kris Vire


ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...What separates Shrek The Musical from some of the other family friendly offerings this season is the connection Ms. Rockwell has via material to the audience. Unlike Mary Zimmerman's The Jungle Book which is visually stunning, there is no core connection between characters and viewers. Shrek, through Rockwell does not make that mistake. It is the via the character's emotional core that we connect them. We all need and want to fit into a society that at times can be very cruel. Though the characters in Shrek, Ms. Rockwell carefully weaves the need to belong into love story of truth we can relate to. The ticket prices are also more than reasonable for a family outing."
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Michael J. Roberts


ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Shrek: The Musical-based on the 2001 smash hit film from DreamWorks, in turn based on the picture book by William Steig-is a hot property. Book and lyrics are by Pulitzer-prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, the adrenalized pop score comes from composer Jeanine Tesori, and taking the realm as director/choreographer is Chicago's own Rachel Rockwell. The 2008 Broadway premiere clocked in at two and half hours, but Rockwell's leanly fashioned 75 minute version doesn't feel rushed, and will serve antsy children and their parents well."
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Anthony J. Mangini


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Shrek (Michael Aaron Lindner) brings a delightful presence and likable quality even though he is quite crude. Donkey (James Earl Jones II) is the most lovable ass I have ever met and quite the scene stealer. All of the "Fiona's" young Fiona-Caroline Heffernan (who I also thought was awesome in Annie), Teen Fiona-Rebecca Pink and Summer Naomi Smart as "Fiona" take the house down with "I Know It's Today" the best musical number in the show. There are so many songs within this show that are reminiscent of other show tunes it is just downright fun. In the end, well you know how fairy tales go? There is a very happy ending and they lived happily ever after! Go see it -quickly!"
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Sally Jo Osborne


Chicago Now - Highly Recommended

"...The story is familiar. The characters are well-worn friends. The pleasurable experience is a guarantee. It's like reading a fairytale for the umpteenth time. SHREK THE MUSICAL gives us what we crave... a happy ending! This production of SHREK THE MUSICAL makes me want Chicago Shakes to produce their versions of "Shrek 2," "Shrek the Third," and "Shrek Forever After." Chicago needs move happily-ever-afters."
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Katy Walsh


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Seventy Five minutes is just the right amount of time for the kids ( and some of the grandparents) to view a theatrical production and this is one of sheer perfection from start to finish with a bright set (Scott Davis), great lighting(Jesse Klug),beautiful costumes(Theresa Ham) and perfect sound (Garth Helm). The projections which allow the theater to appear much larger and the set , much more realistic ( Mike Tutaj) and the special effects (James Savage) are the icing on the cake. Mike Mahler’s musical direction with four able musicians led by Tom Vendafreddo sounds great and much larger in numbers which shows that it is not the quantity of musicians but the quality that makes it sound just right."
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Alan Bresloff


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...All this talent would simply flounder were it not for the flawless direction and choreography provided by Rachel Rockwell. Spilling across CST's thrust stage and into the aisles Ms. Rockwell's talented cast often seems much larger. Add Michael Mahler's musical direction and the technical wizardry created through Scott Davis' knotty pine-inspired scenic design, Mike Tutaj's seamless, full-stage magic mirror projections and Theresa Ham's sparkly, colorful fairy tale costumes and you have a Broadway caliber Summer spectacular that'll appeal to the entire family."
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Colin Douglas


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