Temecula Youth Musical Theater to present ‘Shrek the Musical’

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The Temecula Youth Musical Theater will present “Shrek The Musical” starting Friday, Jan. 17, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, “Shrek The Musical” is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure that will be performed by the Temecula Youth Musical Theater starting Friday, Jan. 17, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

Though Director Jennifer Stuart and her team of young actors are ready to get the show on the road, the production got off to a somber start.

“We lost our longtime choreographer Brooke Morris early in the rehearsal process,” Stuart said. “She passed away, and we had to process that loss while still moving forward with the show.”

That’s no easy feat for any cast, even more difficult for a cast of youngsters. But Stuart said they have processed the loss and understand that the show must go on.

The main characters in the musical will be Dean F. as Shrek, Brynn S. as Fiona, and Graham R. as Donkey.

“I love this cast,” Stuart said. “They are hard workers and very motivated. They are kind and helpful to each other. They make it so rewarding to come to work.

“Shrek the Musical” features all-new songs from Jeanine Tesori of “Thoroughly Modern Millie;” “Caroline” and “Change” and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. It brings all the beloved characters audiences know from the film to life onstage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears.

“The kids love the show,” Stuart said. “They are having a blast.”

For those that haven’t seen the movie or the musical, “Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek” an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue.

“I love the message about self-acceptance and that we are all beautiful in our own way,” Stuart said. “I hope people leave the show smiling and singing the songs. I hope people take their children because exposure to the arts is so important.”

Stuart said she is proud of the youths for taking on this production.

“The highlights are the way that the kids of all ages come together to perform huge group numbers,” she said. “The vocals and dances are spectacular. The costumes are also amazing because they represent so many well-loved fairy tales.”

“Shrek the Musical” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 17-18, 24-25 and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, Sunday, Jan. 19, and Jan. 25-26.

Tickets are $10 per person, and children under the age of 3 are free on an adult’s lap. The child must have a ticket to enter theater by obtaining a “BABES” ticket at the ticket office at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main Street, in Temecula. Call (866) 653-8696 or visit http://tickets.temeculatheater.org.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.