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The Sandy Arts Guild Presents: ‘Shrek the Musical’

Sep 09, 2015 11:33AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Shrek the Musical

By Megan Mahajan

It was belly laughs all around at this year’s production of “Shrek the Musical,” presented by the Sandy Arts Guild. The Sandy Amphitheater was filled with eager Shrek lovers of all ages, from babies to grandparents and everyone in between.

This twisted fairy tale teaches viewers to love themselves, write their own story and “let your freak flag fly!” The fairytale creatures brought the latter to life with their quirky songs, spunky one-liners, and of course, a cross-dressing wolf.

Those who have ever had the pleasure of seeing “Shrek the Musical” before know that Lord Farquad is the hysterical villain that you love to hate, and at times can inadvertently steal the show. Chad McBride brought this character, in all his yellow-legged glory, to life in a way that had the audience laughing until they cried. Each movement Farquad made was hilarious, from his first appearance all the way until his attempt to get down on one knee for Princess Fiona.

The laughs were momentarily paused and heartstrings were sufficiently tugged as Shrek, Fiona and Donkey sang “Who I’d Be” and presented their own personal ideas of the perfect fairytale. This number was the first glimpse of the feelings and dreams that lie within Shrek’s ogre heart, and the first indication that there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Shrek’s character, brilliantly played by Shelby Maughan, is of course what makes this musical so spectacular. Maughan was flawless as Shrek, perfectly capturing every aspect of the character from the humor to the complex emotions of the ogre with onion-like layers. Maughan’s movements and facial expressions alone were enough to keep the audience laughing out loud, but his perfectly executed Shrek voice was what kept the younger audience members giggling as well.

Maughan and Danny Eggers, who played the role of Donkey, were the perfect pair: each built off of the other, creating the absolute perfect love-hate relationship between the two unlikely friends. 

Ashley Stonebraker shone bright as Fiona, bringing the perfect mix of humor and grace and capturing her character in the best way possible. The audience laughed at her inflated expectations for rescue and felt for her as her fairytale turned out to be far less than what she had spent all those years in the tower waiting for. Stonebraker has a personality that literally leaps from the stage even when she’s not saying a word.

The audience was filled with hope as Shrek came to the realization that, “When words fail, she’ll understand.” But all hopes were crushed once again, and hearts went out to Shrek as his heart was broken when Fiona left with Farquad on Rainbow Sprinkles, his noble steed of sorts.

Donkey taught Shrek a lesson about friendship before leading him back to Duloc to profess his love for Fiona. He interrupted her wedding, her curse was broken, they discovered true ogre love and the rest is history. 

Not enough can be said about the caliber of the actors in this production, the quality of the music or the incredible imagery created by the scenery and costumes. The Sandy Arts Guild truly outdid themselves with this production, and those who attended will have memories to cherish for years to come.

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