SCOTTSBLUFF — As a young ogre, Shrek’s parents warned him to watch out for pitch forks. With age, people with pitchforks learned to be afraid of Shrek, played by Ty Hebbert, especially at the sound of his roar. He became content living alone in his swamp and sending off a strong smell of skunk spray from his body.
The same could not be said for Princess Fiona. Fiona, played by Elaina Osburn, was sent away by her parents to be locked into a tower guarded by a fire breathing dragon until her true love came to rescue her. She longed for the day when she was rescued, keeping a counting total and remaining optimistic everyday was the day she would descend the tower with her true love.
In the Theatre West production of "Shrek, The Musical," a talented cast takes the audience on a journey as Shrek tries to reclaim his swamp after Lord FarQuaad ordered several fairy tale creatures to live there and Fiona battles with falling in love with an ogre on her journey to Lord FarQuaad.
“Many talented artists have been brought in from around the country to take part in this production and when it is over, they are gone,” said director James Alexander Bond. “You would have to go to New York, or D.C., or Miami, or Chicago to see them again.”
Bond added that Theatre West’s production of "Shrek, The Musical" “is true to the style and story of the original movie while each actor brings his or her own unique quality to the show. With additional songs written for Broadway and the wonderful choreography of Tiffany Tabor Mackrell, a former Rockette, Shrek on stage offers an immensely enjoyable evening of theater.”
As Shrek wanders through the forest in search of Duloc, he comes across Donkey, played by Joshua Woodie. Donkey is being chased by Lord FarQuaad’s guards, but at the sight of Shrek, they stop dead in their tracks. With a simple roar, Shrek scares the guards into an about-face.
“You know what I like about you Shrek?” asks Donkey. “You got that whole I don’t care what anybody thinks of me thing. I like that.”
Once the guards are out of their sight, Shrek returns his attention to his map to continue on his journey. Donkey begs Shrek to let him come with him as the two outcasts need each other.
“All right, look. Only because I’m lost, you can come,” Shrek said.
With their quest seemingly over after finding Lord FarQuaad, played by Caleb Long, Shrek and Donkey find themselves on a journey to find Princess Fiona in exchange for Shrek’s swamp back. As Donkey overcomes his fear of heights as Shrek pushes him along a tall bridge over boiling lava, Shrek ties up Dragon just in time for their escape with the princess.
Over the course of the next several days, Donkey discovers Fiona’s hidden identity and reason for hiding away in the night. But sworn to secrecy, he doesn’t tell anyone and watches as Shrek’s interest in Fiona is cast aside because he’s an ogre.
Following Lord FarQuaad’s short arrival to meet his soon-to-be wife, Shrek returns to his empty swamp alone until Donkey urges him to tell Fiona how he feels before it’s too late. Interrupting Lord FarQuaad’s and Princess Fiona’s wedding, Shrek confesses his love for Fiona, who then reveals her secret.
As Shrek and Fiona find they love each other and Donkey and Dragon rekindle their short-lived relationship from the castle, the story of love overcomes the image of beauty.
“I hope the audience realizes physical beauty isn’t as important as inner beauty and in the eyes of one who loves you, you are always beautiful,” Bond said. “And I hope they realize that our diversity makes us stronger and we should celebrate our diversity.”
Tickets can be purchased at the box office at 1601 E. 27th St. or by calling 308-635-6193.
"Shrek, The Musical" opened Thursday evening. Remaining showtimes are June 30 at 2 p.m., July 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and July 6 at 2 p.m.