By Henry M. Holden
Beginning in mid-January, and with more than two-and-a-half months of preparation, the students of the Randolph High School Drama Club brought the swamp from Far Away to the Randolph High School auditorium with their production of “Shrek the Musical.”
Based on the story and characters from the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, the Drama Club premiered the musical on Fri. evening, March 29, and Sat. March 30.
Shrek is a side-splitting, hilarious spectacle that turns the fairytale world upside down and becomes a must-see musical comedy.
“We got the script through a company called Music Company International,” said Jacob Burlas, the drama director. “The script was adapted from the Broadway version of the fairytale.”
The original Shrek that everybody knows and loves remained intact. “We didn’t make any changes to the script,” said Burlas. “Well, maybe a few little ones,” he said smiling. “Instead, we gave the students creative license in the staging of the production. We wanted to make it flow like a story book.”
Most of the cast are students. “We even have two middle schoolers,” said Burlas. “In the pit orchestra, we had student music director, Andrew Hanrahan. All the musicians are students except for three professionals.”
“There were 37 students involved with this production,” said Burlas. “All the lighting and props were done by students.
“I encouraged our two student choreographers, Maura Holden and Susan O’Sullivan to create their own original choreography,” said Burlas.
“Since there was so much work to do, we decided to out-source the costumes. We used two companies; Scaramouche, in Chester and the Costumer, in New York.
“All the cast members, and some parents assisted in many ways, whether it was helping with rides to and from the school, bringing food to kids during long rehearsals, (as late as 9:30pm sometimes) or helping shop for costumes and props.”
“All the props were either donated by students, built by students, or we rented them. The set itself, the backdrop, was rented but everything else was designed, built and painted by students.”
“Shrek the Musical” is a fairytale adventure that follows a lovable green ogre who loves the quiet isolation of his swamp. The story focuses on Shrek, (Owen Weiss) a grouchy yet kind-hearted ogre, who becomes a hero in his fairytale world despite himself. But his life is disrupted when dozens of fairytale creatures are banished to his swamp by the fairytale-hating Lord Farquaad (Joshua Cohen) of Duloc. Shrek and his sidekick Donkey (Chiara Ricupero) must rescue Princess Fiona (Julia Frost) in exchange for getting his swamp back.
Donkey was one of the funniest characters in the cast, leading the others with put-down jokes about the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad.
(Photo Credit: Alfredo Fanelli)
Shrek and Donkey set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona from her tower, guarded by a fire-breathing love-sick dragon (Bella Dimichino). Add in the mean wicked witch (Nickie Murray) fairy tale hating Lord Farquaad, and a gang of fairytale misfits, and you’ve got an irresistible musical comedy full of adventure, laughter and romance, certain to bring joy to audiences of all ages.
Fairytale Creatures/Ensemble: Rose Andolino, Andrea Cepeda, Katie Dietrich, Bella
Dimichino, Vincent Dimichino, Joseph Dunne, Carly Ellermeyer, Sammi Fishkin, Stephanie
Gutierrez, Abigail Herring, Kendall Hobaugh, Maura Holden, Grace Judith, Caleigh Lawlor,
Evelyn Liew, Caroline Macaluso, Nickie Murray, Daniel O’Sullivan, Susan O’Sullivan, Thomas O’Sullivan, Ally Pierro, Jacqueline Quinn, Sarah Quinn, Daniella Sapone, Olivia Scanzera, Samhitha Swarna
Director: Mr. Jacob Burlas
Music Director: Ms. Ann Kelly
Student Director: Eliana Koenigsberg
Assistant Student Director: Alexa Potsamianos
Student Music Director: Andrew Hanrahan
Choreographer: Ms. Colleen McArdle
Student Choreographers: Maura Holden &; Susan O’Sullivan
Student Stage Manager: Miranda Arends