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Shrek had more magical moments than the script could handle

By Jonathan King,
Published on Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Mark Eshenbaugh plays Shrek.
 
 

Jonathan King

Mark Eshenbaugh plays Shrek.

 

 



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Sarah Hurley as Fiona.
 
 

Jonathan King

Sarah Hurley as Fiona.

 

 



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Brandon Alan Gaunt as Lord Farquaad.
 

Jonathan King

Brandon Alan Gaunt as Lord Farquaad.

 

The magic of opening night for "Shrek The Musical" had more magical moments than the script could handle.

Talented and emotional performances, rousing musical numbers, convincing ogre makeup, and an impressive dragon all came together at the Greer Children’s Theatre production at the J. Harley Bond Center.

Children will see some of their favorite fairytale characters, including pirates, puppets, and princesses. They might spot Puss in Boots and receive a special reward. And most importantly, they’ll learn not to judge others before they know their story.

Mark Eshenbaugh, who plays Shrek, said, “To me, it was important to do a show that actually has some depth. You wouldn’t think Shrek would be a show that has any depth. It’s a cute cartoon, it’s funny, and all that. But it has a really deep message — actually, several really deep messages in it that I thought were very important.”

Brandon Alan Gaunt, who plays Lord Farquaad, said this show his farewell to Greer Children’s Theatre, the place that gave him his start in community theatre. “Lord Farquaad is such a fun character, I had to go for it and give it a try in a last homage to Greer.”

Gaunt added, “In (my first show) ‘Scrooge,’ I wore fifteen-inch stilts when I first started, and now I’m in Shrek, which will probably be my last Greer show, and I’m on my knees.”

“The life does wear on you after a while,” Eshenbaugh joked with Gaunt.

Few could be more satisfied with the play than director Kevin Treu, who has a special connection to this musical after seeing it with his son on a trip to New York.

“It blew us away,” said Treu. “We loved the music and loved the story and the acting. So I had an immediate sentimental connection to (the show). As soon as it became available and Greer got the rights, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to direct.”

People who attended opening night received a special treat as Donkey, played by Landon Odom, proposed to his girlfriend onstage during the final musical number, “I’m a Believer,” a song which reminds us of the power of true love. Treu confirmed that the proposal was genuine and would not be repeated as part of the show.

She said yes.

• “Shrek The Musical” will be performed Sunday at 2 p.m. and 24-26. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees are 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $7 for children under 5.

 

 

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