Flying boy beats down the ogre
Princess Fiona shines, but Shrek The Musical can't fly as high as Peter Pan
Everyone in Houston seems to have ogre fever. But is it justified?
At an early showing of Shrek The Musical(which runs through October 31 at the Hobby Center), I couldn't wait to get out of my seat. And not to take part in a standing ovation.
I enjoyed the first Shrek movie when it came out in 2001, but didn't care for the sequels and this drawn-out production isn't getting me back on the ogre bandwagon.
I checked out the musical in hopes of regaining respect for the popular culture force and longtime babysitting crutch (just slip in the DVD and let Eddie Murphy do all the work as Donkey). A couple of numbers from Houston's stage Shrek are bound to catch your attention, especially those from Princess Fiona (played by Haven Burton, whose father lives in Houston). Another standout of the show is David F.M. Vaughn's physically-demanding performance as Lord Farquaad.
DreamWorks Theatricals deserves credit for pulling off a stunning set-design, but the musical itself could use some snipping.
During Donkey's (Alan Mingo Jr.) first serenade of friendship to Shrek (Eric Petersen), the music notes sparked memory of Rent's "I'll Cover You." I have no problem with a homosexual connotation when it comes to man love, but is it too much to ask for a little originality?
There's an applause-generating cheap shot during Donkey and Shrek's journey to the dragon-guarded tower, when animals from the Lion King musical production make appearances. I won't spoil the ender, but let's just say there nothing surprising about the song choice.
In a way, weighing Shrek The Musical against Alley's Peter Pan or the Boy Would Not Grow Upis like comparing apples and oranges.
Still, the Alley's Peter Pan is a definite winner over Shrek. Peter Pan may be a darker story, but it's definitely the smarter tale.