FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Shrek: The Musical

by John Wroblewski

Dec 23, 2023

Photography by Brett Beiner

When I saw Shrek: The Musical announced for North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, I immediately circled the date on my calendar. Seeing everyone’s favorite green ogre on stage? I’m in!

Presented by Music Theater Works and running through Dec. 31, Shrek: The Musical is based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film with a few bits of the sequels. It features all the familiar characters including Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and the rest.

SHREK

(L to R) Jordan DeBose (Shrek) and Dani Pike (Fiona) in SHREK: THE MUSICAL, from Music Theater Works at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Photography by Brett Beiner.

With music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, it had a trial run in Seattle followed by the original Broadway production opening in December 2008. It has won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score.

Shrek

(L to R) Shaya Harris, Omi Lichtenstein and Dani Pike in SHREK: THE MUSICAL, from Music Theater Works at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
Photography by Brett Beiner.

The performers put on another amazing show. Music Theater Works never disappoints. Along with stunning vocals and excellent acting, it’s the subtle things the performers do to make the productions even better. Through minor movements or even facial expressions, the performers convey so much. The main performers Jordan DeBose (Shrek), Dani Pike (Fiona), Eustace J. Williams (Donkey) and Michael Metcalf (Lord Farquaad) gave incredible vocal performances, whether solo or with others. One other favorite of mine was Omi Lichtenstein as young Fiona. Although only 12, Lichtenstein already has a stage presence. One of my favorite scenes featured three ages of Fiona.

SHREK

(L to R) Dani Pike (Fiona), Eustace J. Williams (Donkey) and Jordan DeBose (Shrek) in SHREK: THE MUSICAL, from Music Theater Works at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
Photography by Brett Beiner.

After the show, several of the performers did a meet-and-greet in the lobby. The little kids in us came out as we posed with the lovable characters.

SHREK

(center) Michael Metcalf (Lord Farquaad) in SHREK: THE MUSICAL, from Music Theater Works at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Photography by Brett Beiner.

One other thing worth noting was the audience. The crowd included every age from infants to senior citizens. Based on the thunderous standing ovation at the end, everyone loved the performance. Also, I noticed a lot of youngsters absolutely mesmerized.Shrek

Shrek: The Musical is the last production of the Music Theater Works 2023 season. I previously wrote about the delightful Avenue Q that opened the season. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee starts the 2024 season on March 7. Other productions include Carousel, Little Shop of Horrors and Legally Blonde: The Musical. It’s sure to be another season of great entertainment.

— John Wroblewski, online writer

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