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Being Green: Stagecrafters travels to Duloc with "Shrek -- The Musical"

Kristen Zublick (left) of Royal Oak as Fiona and Dez Walker of Royal Oak as Donkey delight audiences in "Shrek - The Musical" at Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak.
Kristen Zublick (left) of Royal Oak as Fiona and Dez Walker of Royal Oak as Donkey delight audiences in "Shrek - The Musical" at Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak.

Being Green:  Stagecrafters travels to Duloc with “Shrek – The Musical”

 By SUE SUCHYTA

 

            Whether you are in Duloc or Oz, it is never easy being green, but both “Shrek – the Musical” and “The Wizard of Oz” offer audiences a chance to celebrate their differences while enjoying family-friendly musical comedy with Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette in Royal Oak.

            While “The Wizard of Oz” run does not open until June, “Shrek – the Musical” completes its run this weekend with 8 p.m. shows Jan. 23, 24 and 25, and 2 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26 matinees.

            Tickets are $20 for the Thursday show and $22 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday if purchased in advance. Seats are $2 more at the door. Student, military and senior discounts are available for some performances.  To order, call 248-541-6430 or go to www.stagecrafters.org.

            Shrek, played by Matt Scharlau of Bloomfield Hills, is an enjoyable ogre with his solid performance and strong stage presence.

            Donkey and Fiona, played respectively by Dez Walker and Kristen Zublick, both of Royal Oak, complete the talented trio. All three deliver delightful performances and strong vocals.

            Christiana Perrault of Southfield, as the torch-song belting dragon, is vocally strong, yet stands apart from the 20-foot dragon, which may confuse younger children wondering why a woman is singing next to the scary creature. The musical does not attempt the human-puppetry magic of a show like “Warhorse.”

            Christopher Anderson of Ferndale is Lord Farquaad, the villain you love to hate. His appearance and acting are dead on and delightful. His vocals during “The Ballad of Farquaad” could be stronger and more accurate, but most audience members will not even be aware of his musical transgressions.

            The large cast of Duloc citizens, soldiers and fairy tale creatures is delightful and enthusiastic. 

            Downriver residents include Dearborn actor Jason Skidmore, who has fun playing the wolf – “a hot and tranny mess,” while one of two boys playing young Shrek, Spencer Clark, hails from Lincoln Park.

            There seems to be a shortage of men in the cast, which is understandable since many of the young men are committed to school musicals -- whether high school or college -- this time of year. That left the Duloc guards spread thin.

            The choreography, while simple, did not seem polished. The Three Blind Mice number, while enthusiastic, made me cringe for its lack of uniformity.

            The overall spirit of the show, however, is fun and enthusiastic, and provides families with a theatrical treat for all ages. 

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