Cruiser actors to perform “Shrek: The Musical”

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
Princess Fiona (right), portrayed by Fiona Finneran, sets Shrek the Ogre, portrayed by Sean Brewer, straight during an argument scene from, “Shrek: The Musical,” to be performed by the Groveport Madison High School Cruiser Theatre Company.

A big, green ogre is coming to town! But this ogre will bring more joy than fear.

The Groveport Madison High School Cruiser Theatre Company will present “Shrek: The Musical” on April 11, 12, 13 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 2 p.m. at Groveport Madison High School, 4475 S. Hamilton Road. The show follows the adventures of Shrek the ogre, his pal Donkey, Princess Fiona, and a host of other fairy tale characters based on the famous Shrek films.

“Our stage version will be different from the film in that there will be more songs, more singing, and more dancing,” said Groveport Cruiser Theatre Company director and teacher Erin Graffis. “There will be more back stories on the major characters like Shrek and Princess Fiona, including things from their childhoods. The plot will basically follow the plot of the first ‘Shrek’ film.”

Sean Brewer will play Shrek, Fiona Finneran will portray Princess Fiona, and Michael Taylor will fulfill the role of Donkey.

“Sean and Michael have great chemistry on stage. Plus Sean has a way of making Shrek lovable. Fiona Finneran is a real pro,” said Graffis of the student actors.

Finneran and Brewer have embraced their lead roles.

“I love it,” said Finneran of the musical. “It’s the liveliest performance I’ve done. It’s full of fun and complex characters.”

Brewer said he enjoys being Shrek.

“I like Shrek’s attitude and what he has to say,” said Brewer. “I like the songs he sings as well.”

Graffis said there are about 30 on-stage roles in the musical with some of the students having multiple duties.

“The actors must do everything – act, master dialogue, sing, and dance,” said Graffis. “To their credit most of them have performed musicals before. They’re real polished. They’re so good that some audience members at past shows have commented that, while they are watching the show, they forget that these are students on stage.”

Graffis said the new auditorium at Groveport Madison High School has enabled the theatre group to take advantage of the modern technology it offers.

“One of my favorite things about the new auditorium are our lighting options,” said Graffis. “It makes a world of difference in atmosphere, look, and feel of the show for the audience.”

Being a part of the Cruiser Theatre Company is more than just performing on stage. Several of the student actors appeared in their “Shrek: The Musical” costumes at the Obetz Community Center on March 22 to play games, do crafts, and have photos taken with kids. Children beamed and rushed up to hug them when they saw Shrek and Princess Fiona.

Tickets for “Shrek: The Musical” are $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 general admission.

For information on the Cruiser Theatre Company, visit cruisertheatre@weebly.com.

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