SHREK THE MUSICAL – Ogres and Freaks and Spells, “Oh, my!”

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

SHREK THE MUSICAL is an entertaining refuge for the Holidays. Eric Petersen as the ogre, “Shrek”, is the perfect choice for a role that demands great comic timing, a boisterous and hugely imposing manner, and a bizarre and gruffish exterior that embraces a heart of gold. Petersen is also equipped with hulking vocal chops for the rock-type solo, “Build A Wall”. Alan Mingo, Jr. as “Donkey” – the ass that just can’t seem to shut-up – is high-voltage and totally unstoppable. As the innocent Princess Fiona, Haven Burton (Legally Blonde, Rent), delivers a superb performance of the score by award winning composer and arranger Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning). Carrie Compere as the voice of “Dragon” – the very best monster puppet ever created for the Broadway stage – stopped the show. And bringing the house down as the diminutive four and-a-half foot “Lord Farquaad”, David F.M. Vaughn has all the pizzazz and showmanship of a headliner Vaudeville great.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: SHREK THE MUSICAL

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ERIC PETERSEN — ALAN MINGO, Jr.
Production photos by Joan Marcus

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DAVID F.M. VAUGHN – as “Lord Farquaad”

For those who have yet to experience the four cinematic treatments of Shrek – no need to bone-up on the plot or the characters to size-up Shrek The Musical. It’s all a very obvious Fairy Tale dream come true, with a cast of familiar folk including: the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Three Bears and trio of Blind Mice, Peter Pan, Ugly Duckling, the Wicked Witch, Big Bad Wolf, Gingerbread Boy (“Gingy”), and Pinocchio. Character actress Aymee Garcia serves up sweet and biting contrasts as “Mama Bear” and “Gingy”. Blakely Slaybaugh, as the wooden boy with the tell-tale nose, pulls no strings in his lively portrayal of “Pinocchio”.

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BLAKELY SLAYBAUGH – as “Pinocchio”

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HAVEN BURTON – as “Princess Fiona”

Watch an excerpt from “I Think I Got You Beat”

Lively and colorful though the musical may be, there is not one song in the entire score of Jeanine Tesori’s Shrek The Musical that will withstand the test of time, much less the short walk up the aisle. Except for the Finale. The number she didn’t compose – “I’m A Believer”. The 1967 pop-hit written by Neil Diamond was a smash success for another set of party animals, THE MONKEES. The song was revitalized in 2001 by the group SMASH MOUTH and appropriated into the film score of Shrek. Still – I remain a diehard believer that the world of Broadway Musicals will one day witness the coming of another Composer Messiah whose words and music will last beyond one more very disposable season.

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DRAGON and ALAN MINGO, Jr.

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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