Once upon a time, in The Kingdom of Far Far Away lived a large ogre and his donkey…not your traditional love story fairy tale…or is it?
Shrek the Musical is making its way across the country spreading contagious laughter with wittingly unrefined, oafish humor – sounds odd no doubt – and yet this show is tremendously charming and amusing with a deep, endearing message including a catchy theme song, “Let Your Freak Flag Fly.”
I had the privilege of interviewing two young, debut performers in the show – Scarlett Diaz and Madison Mullahey. These talented young, ten-year-old girls are traveling across the U.S. and taking on three separate roles – each playing young Fiona, young Shrek, and Grumpy Dwarf. Madison explained that while she loves being on stage and doesn’t get nervous, the heavy make-up and bulky costumes are sometimes a professional challenge. Scarlett agreed and explained that traveling is another challenge because one parent must be there at all times, so siblings at home are left with just one parent and everyone misses being together. No doubt these two girls, along with their families are making great sacrifices to do something they are passionate about and to bring us quality Broadway entertainment.
By opening night, I was ready for an evening out! I had spent several days caring for sick kiddos and had just gotten everyone well. I had been eagerly anticipating this review, especially since friends from Oklahoma had called to tell us what a hilarious must-see Shrek the Musical was. So, I wasn’t sure if the tingle in my stomach was excitement or if it could be something more – I grabbed a grocery bag and stuffed it in my purse – just incase.
The show was fabulous, as I had imagined. The cast was spectacular and amazingly talented with flawless performances. Surely, when young Scarlett and Madison dreamt of performing on Broadway, images of green ogres and the odd characters of Duloc didn’t enter their minds. Yet, these two lovely little ladies have found a way to make even the strangest of characters look good. I was impressed.
As the show came to a close, I began to feel a definite churning in my stomach, and it wasn’t just props to Shrek and his crew. As the pleased crowd stood to give an ovation, I doubled over, my face deep into the plastic bag and let my freak flag fly.
As Shrek would say, “Not Everything Beautiful is Pretty!”
As for Scarlett and Madison…keep an eye out for these ambitious girls. Both are beautiful and pretty – not to mention talented – and have several prospective roles in mind for the future. You may spot Scarlett playing Annie or possibly big Fiona in a revival cast. Look for Madison in Wicked or playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid. I have no doubt that these talented little ladies will make their way beyond Far Far Away…if they so choose.