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Written by Funn Lim


I went to watch Shrek The Musical last night (21.06.2012) at the KLCC Convention Centre (oh! the jam! oh! the crazy jam!), RM590-00 seat which is free thanks to the grace of another who must thank another for 2 free tickets. Frankly the price is too expensive but it was almost full house, mostly and probably because of free tickets to some big time company or rather company bought tickets to distribute to clients. Anyway the seat was right smack in the middle, in front of me was a kid so basically my view was unobstructed. That sort of view that I would have wished I got for my Fukuyama Masaharu concert. Anyway I hated Shrek movies but I love the musical.

The story is the same, sort of but some jokes were toned down and somehow less offensive in the musical. Some were very funny. The singing was mostly Broadway except for the voice behind the female dragon who turned out to be a black woman with a power house voice. All the actors can dance. The amazingness of the show is part of the fact that the cast has such chemistry and also each were enthusiastic in their respective role, despite not so encouraging feedback from the viewers, at first. I especially liked the main actress as the adult Princess Fiona who was funny, cute and very very enthusiastic, unlike the cartoon counterpart. The Donkey was still annoying but that is the character, not the very eager actor. It was the ogre, Shrek who seems subdued but he could act as well as sing. The guy as Pinnochio was funny even if annoying. However for a human actor, it has to be the actor as Lord Farquaad who stole the show. First of, we all know the villain is a midget. They didn't find a midget as the actor but rather the actor walked on his knees hidden behind a black clothe with 2 tiny puppet legs attached in front and frankly he had the most costume changes with the most dazzling costumes. His performance was campy and OTT and I believe if he wasn't so funny, many may be offended since there are gay/effiminate/midget jokes. But the actor was brilliant! I laughed so hard at his antics and he knew he was getting the most applause and laughs and at one point encouraged us to clap and all. He was the most popular, no doubt about it. BUT the highlight was the performance by non-human, a puppet to be exact and that is the dragon which is huge! A few guys in black moves it's legs, eyes, mouth, body and I didn't even know the dragon was there until it began to sing and it even flew!! The skills for maneuvering the dragon puppet was simply mind blowing and that was the best of the best. I wished the dragon made an appearance at the end, because no doubt it would have the biggest cheer. Moreover that dragon lady can really really sing.

Another highlight has to be some clever twists in the story, like how it punked Lion King and even Babe. That was funny. Or how they showed rats dancing, and that is actors hidden behind the screen wearing shows looking like rats. The imagination was mind blowing to tell you the truth. And then the costumes, whilst most rarely changed costumes, the make up and costumes were beautiful. The professionalism of the actors and how they seamlessly changed actors (from human Fiona to ogre Fiona, from no dragon to a dragon) were also expertly done. But it was the set that made me realise this is a quality production. It was colourful, imaginative and very artistic. I love the scene where Fiona hid in a house and was talking to Donkey when Shrek came by and was hurt by what she said eventhough she meant herself. The house was actually a see through screen, the background was a big moon with night sky, the lightning was dark and yet you can see clearly with the spotlight casting a shadow of Donkey and Fiona as an ogre for all to see. It was very very beautiful.

It was certainly a quality production and I can see why it got rave reviews, technical wise or even the acting.

The story itself is Shrek the animation, but more.. family friendly. The beginning was slow, but it picked up when Lord Farquaad appeared and the story just zooms ahead, not a moment wasted but the ending was slow a little even if the effect of how Fiona became ogre in front of everyone was imaginative. Definitely did not see the switch between actors  or something like that. The music is also a highlight. Great catchy songs, and live band who played so well. I really liked a few songs in it and whilst the actors were not fantastic singers, their eagerness made up for the lack of professional singing.

I know RM590 is expensive, it is the most expensive seat and all that. Frankly I won't pay to watch, maybe a cheaper ticket. Even if sitting further way, the place is not huge so you can still see, although less enjoyable because missing the details. If you have a chance, go and have a look. I have seen about I suppose 2 or 3 musicals only but I know a quality production when I see one. And Shrek, the musical is one heck of a production. To me everything was just perfection and I had such good fun that night. And since I am no fan of the Shrek movies, and yet I enjoyed this musical immensely, it goes to show how amazing the production was. Children will enjoy it for the colours, adults for the humour and generally everyone can appreciate good acting and enthusiastic professional performance. For once, and yes even if the ticket was free, I didn't feel shortchanged.

> Check out the show details here
> from 19 June 2012 to 24 June 2012
> Show starts at 8pm (not sharp 8pm since Malaysians are never on time, maybe 10 minutes later) with 20 minutes intermission and ends at around 11pm.


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