June 29-July 2—RANDOLPH—”Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek … “ And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, “Shrek the Musical” is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring songs by Jeanine Tesori and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Chandler Music Hall’s youth theater group will present “Shrek the Musical” Thursday, June 29; Friday, June 30; and Saturday, July 1 at 7 p.m. each night; as well as Sunday, July 2 at 2 p.m.
Chandler’s youth musical, now in its 19th year, features students from Central Vermont and beyond. Senior Carter Farnsworth of White River Junction portrays Shrek, a hulking green ogre who retreats to an ugly swamp to exist in happy isolation. His hermit life is disturbed when a group of homeless fairy-tale characters raid his sanctuary, saying they’ve been evicted from Duloc by Lord Farquaad, played by Parker Nolan, a Barre student making his Chandler debut. Shrek travels to Duloc to confront Farquaad, but Farquaad wants something in return: he’ll give the fairy-tale characters their homes back if Shrek rescues Princess Fiona, played by Natalie Strand of Randolph. Shrek and his new friend Donkey, performed by Asa Dupras of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., travel to Fiona’s prison and rescue her from a fire-breathing dragon. Chandler veteran Emily Ballou appears as the dragon and also acts as dance captain for the production. But Shrek finds something strange and different about Fiona, and as they return to Duloc, it becomes clear things aren’t going to go according to plan.
Shrek the Musical includes a large ensemble. Fairytale character roles went to Caira Adams, Hattie Byrne, Grace Collins, Emma Farnsworth, Louisa Funk, Haley Hammond, Toj Marceau, Kyle Mason, Gräe Moriath, Ella Neff, Philip Papp, Caleb Scully, Marguerite Souligny, Eva Stumpff, and Olivia Swayze. Teen and elementary chorus students round out the ensemble as citizens of Duloc, villagers, guards, and others. The cast is led by Kim Nowlan Hathaway as director and choreographer and Billy Ray Poli as music director.
Rehearsals begin as soon as school ends, and just two and a half short weeks later this talented group presents four performances sure to delight audiences. Tickets ($12 students, $18 adults) can be reserved in person or by calling the box office at 802-728-6464 weekdays between 12-5 p.m.
Chandler Center for the Arts is located at 71-73 Main Street, Randolph.
Photo courtesy of Chandler Center for the Arts
Carter Farnsworth portrays Shrek (center) in Chandler’s youth musical being performed for three evening shows and one matinee.