Rather than the common adaptation and inspiration from plays, novels, and books, Shrek the Musical has been adapted from an animation movie by DreamWorks, 2001. However, the musical has been able to have a genuine theatrical, spirited and has cast away the usual tag of sensory bombardment that is common in other plays. David Lindsay-Abaire, the writer of the musical, has done his best to stay true to the narrative in the film. However, he has been able to use his skill rather than being enslaved totally in the film. For instance, viewers can capture more detail from the musical that is not captured in the film. Particularly, the backstory presentation of 'Shrek' the gigantic green ogre and 'Princess Fiona,' the princess whom Shrek is sent to save from the tower guarded by the dragons.
The writer, in this case, is trying to present the film in a more fun way, provide more detail and entertain while still not losing focus on the whole plot and themes as presented in the film so as not to distort the main idea and story. Indeed, the play has been presented well, and the use of colors and props make it more livable and fun to watch. The music, however, needs some improvement as it did was not memorable as one would have expected. All in all, the musical has captured the writer's intentions, and the actors did their best in presenting the adaptations.
The plot of the musical is easy to follow, and I found that all the plots that were developed to be essential in bringing together the whole idea of the play. However, there were certain parts in the plot that did not sit well with me as an audience. For instance, as the play progressed, the sign "Make Duloc Great Again" did not appear to capture the whole story well and was rather misplaced. All in all, the layering of the plot in a linear manner made it captivating. Indeed, the comedic musical seems to be one that adults will enjoy more than the kids especially the nature of the settings, characters, and jokes.
The characters in the play brought the whole thing together rather fluidly, and it was evidenced in their understanding of what was required of them and the delivery. I might be overpraising them considering they have been doing this for a while now. However, the singing and the dancing particularly was invigorating, and a sense of professionalism from the cast and crew could be felt. Furthermore, they advanced the theme seamlessly, and their makeup and characterization were rather impressive. Particularly, there were small incidences that had some flaws, but the handling and calmness saw them handled in a manner that made them insignificant whereas, in another setting, these flaws might have caused delays or stopped the play unceremoniously.
As noted earlier, the musical follows the film's thoughts which is about the hope that life is capable of changing someday irrespective of one's upbringing or ill-favor. The musical has captured this idea rather well as the depiction of Shrek as an ugly green ogre and his journeys which conclude that beauty is not all important in life especially as depicted in many other fairy tales. The play's thought can be used in today's society that upholds beauty rather than looks at more important elements of life and teaches us that it is wise also to have other attributes more important than beauty. However, making Fiona into an ogre at the end tended to throw off the message. By turning Fiona into an ogre, it could be taken to mean that in the end, 'ugly get ugly' whereas 'beautiful gets beautiful.' A notion that still exists in today's society.
The diction in the musical is engaging and captures well the idea of a fairytale, swamps, and the characters bring together these elements rather nicely. The spectacle which Aristotle initially intimated to be the least important element in the film, has been captured in the best way possible. The advance in technology in plays has brought the importance of the spectacle to plays and musicals. The lights, sound effects, the controlled environment, and the computer-guided gizmos that make it more lively make a production all the more lively. Indeed, Shrek the Musical had great ambiance because of the spectacle that brought the whole set together nicely.
Finally, the songs in the play had a mixed feeling according to me. Indeed, the songs were presented in a great way and set the mood while at the same time advancing the plot, thoughts, and characters of the play. However, at some point, some songs were unnecessary and made the musical unnecessarily long and dry. As such, many songs were unmemorable, and I have already forgotten them because of their dryness and lengthiness.
All in all, Shrek the Musical was a great play that had many memorable moments and was funny and witty through and through. The elements lined up well, and the production was done tastefully. It is no wonder that the musical is still being reproduced more than fifteen years after its initial release. It is a testament to the greatness and fun that the show brings to its audiences.
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