'Shrek, the Musical' opens Oct. 11 in Richland

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldOctober 8, 2013 

Pack up the kids and head for Hanford High auditorium because the Academy of Children's Theatre is tackling the funny story of Shrek.

But this production will be the musical version of the tale.

"Shrek, the Musical is based on the popular movie Shrek," said director Deb Donohoe.

It tells the story of a crabby ogre who butts heads with Farquaad, the ruthless leader of the town of Duloc. He steals Shrek's land, then bans all different-looking creatures from the town, including the three bears, the three little pigs, the wicked witch and Pinocchio. Then he settles them on swampland once owned by Shrek.

Farquaad, played by Richland High music teacher Greg Fryhling, offers Shrek a deal to get his land back. All he has to do is rescue the princess Fiona so Farquaad can marry her.

Shrek doesn't believe he has a choice, so he heads out to find Fiona. Along the way, he meets a cast of characters as funny and entertaining as Shrek is grumpy: the goofy donkey, a dragon with issues and blind mouse.

The key characters are portrayed by adult Tri-City actors. Shrek is played by Patrick Smith, Fiona is played by Sarah Landon, Kyle Cox is Donkey and Erin Ballo plays a dual role as the dragon and the blind mouse.

Students portraying supporting roles are Boston Taylor, 15; Caleb Brown, 14; Anjuli Herr, 16; Shani Laskin, 10; and Trenton Remington, 17. All are from the Tri-Cities and members of ACT.

"Shrek is a fairy tale with a message about the importance of accepting differences in others," Donohoe said. "Being able to direct such an enthusiastic and talented group of both veteran and new actors has been both challenging and delightful.

"The audience will have a visual delight listening to some of the fun and energetic songs. It's a show for the entire family."

Showtime is 7 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and 18-19 with a 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 19. Tickets cost $13 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and $7 for kids 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the door.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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