Shrek The Musical - History - Broadway Production (2008-10)

Broadway Production (2008-10)

After extensive changes were made, the show began previews on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre on November 8, 2008, with the official opening on December 14. The cast included d'Arcy James as Shrek, Foster as Fiona, Sieber as Farquaad and Tartaglia as Pinocchio. Daniel Breaker took over the role of Donkey, as the creative team thought Chester Gregory II did not fit the part. The Dragon was voiced by company members Haven Burton, Aymee Garcia and Rachel Stern, instead of a soloist. Kecia Lewis-Evans, who played Dragon in Seattle, was offered a part in the show's ensemble but declined. Ben Crawford was the standby for Shrek, until he replaced d'Arcy James for the final months of performances.

Other changes the creative team made included the deletion of three songs: "The Line-Up", "More to the Story" and "I Smell a Happy Ending". "Story of My Life", "Build a Wall" and "This is Our Story" were added in their respective places. "Who I'd Be" changed from being a solo for Shrek, to a trio with Fiona and Donkey joining him towards the end.

The song "I'm a Believer", which was originally played as the audience left the theatre, was added to the score on October 2, 2009, and sung by the entire company at the end of the performance.

The Broadway production of the show received a total of twelve Drama Desk Award and eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and acting awards for d'Arcy James, Foster and Sieber. The show won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for d'Arcy James, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design and Costume Design for Tim Hatley, as well as the Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Hatley again. At the Tony Awards, the entire cast performed a section of "Freak Flag" for the opening number medley; later on, James, Sutton and Breaker introduced Sieber and company, who performed "What's Up Duloc?". The cast recording of the show was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. The cast performed "I'm a Believer" at the Thanksgiving Day Parade 2009.

The Broadway production closed on January 3, 2010, after 441 performances and 37 previews. At the time, it was the most expensive musical to open on Broadway, and despite generally good reviews, it failed to recoup its initial investment. The show was then extremely modified for the national tour.

Read more about this topic:  Shrek The Musical, History

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