I went to go see Shrek the Musical at ACTS Theatre here in Lake Charles last weekend for the second time. Curious as to how ours compared with the Broadway version I pulled up some Youtubes and discovered something interesting.
THERE ARE PORTIONS OF OUR PRODUCTION HERE IN LAKE CHARLES THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE BROADWAY PRODUCTION!!!
For example, there is a very moving song wherein Shrek sings, in response to a question by Donkey, about what he would like to be if he could have his wish. It is called "Who I'd Be". In the Broadway musical it is sung much like a Pagliacci sad clown – of someone who wants what he believes could never be. In the ACTS Production, the way Casey Doucet sang it raised the hairs on the back of my neck and, I think, was more in keeping with the brass but loveable and fundamentally heroic character of Shrek as originally created in the animated feature films. Doucet's rendition of "Who I'd Be" is inspiring and dramatic, providing credibility to the personality transformation from selfish angry ogre to admirable leader and gentle suitor that Shrek experiences. And Doucet's hopeful "When Words Fail" almost had me in tears.
Kristen Harrell's Fiona is simulataneously brass and coquettish, more than a match for Shrek and equals, if not surpasses the Broadway performance in style and vocal power. And I guarantee that the Broadway Fiona didn't double for choreographer as Ms. Harrell did, making Ms. Harrell's contribution to this show all the more amazing.
Julian Quebedeaux puts a stamp on Donkey that is his own – befitting the character and relationship Donkey has with Shrek but completely resisting what must have been an overpowering impulse to reproduce Eddie Murphy's vocal anthropomorphization. The result is a funny and refreshing take on the same character. Honestly, the Broadway characterization of Donkey is sweet but an obvious homage to Murphy's performance.
So here in little ole' Lake Charles we can more than match up to the Big Apple. If you don't believe me – check out the Youtube excerpts of the Broadway Shrek the Musical then go SEE THE PRODUCTION AT ACTS!!! Our guys will make you PROUD!
For the full review check out my previous blog: Shrek the Musical at Lake Charles' ACTS Theatre – Bravo!
So rush out now, while the tickets are still available, for one or more of the last shows coming up this weekend: Shrek the Musical at ACTS Theatre.