Ingram said the musical follows the story of the film closely, that of a flatulent, embittered ogre named Shrek whose swamp is overrun by fairy-tale creatures, banished by the evil Lord Farquaad. Shrek travels to see Farquaad to see about getting his swamp back (but to get the fairy-tale creatures a home, too, of course), picking up the notoriously endearing/annoying Donkey and the cursed Princess Fiona along the way. The only major deviation, said Ingram, is in the treatment of Lord Farquaad.
“In the movie, you never really understand why Farquaad is such an egomaniac, why he hates fairy-tale creatures so much,” she said. “In the musical, you get some funny, entertaining backstory about him, where he came from and why it matters.”
Visually, Ingram said the production utilizes a lot of visual projection to make the audience feel they are in the middle of the fantastical settings.
“It really takes you to places like the dragon’s lair and the lake of molten lava in a way you couldn’t with a canvas backdrop,” she said.
CMT is one of the few community theatre companies that can produce large-scale, Broadway-like shows.
“We only put on two shows a year and we don’t have our own space. A lot of community theaters have their own stage, which creates opportunities as well as limitations. The Jarson-Kaplan Theatre has a slide floor, which is efficient and visually interesting. Over 100 people auditioned for this show and we’re all volunteers.”
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How to go
What: “Shrek the Musical”
Where: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati
When: Opens May 12 and ends its run May 20; show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
More info: 513-621-2787 or www.cincinnatiarts.org