Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shrek Flies His Freak Flag in Chicago

Looking for some late-summer family fun? Check out Shrek the Musical at Navy Pier's Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

There's big talent on display here and plenty of big laughs. Michael Aaron Lindner has the singing chops for the title role but James Earl Jones II shines as Donkey with charisma to burn.

The show is a scaled down version of the Broadway tour show that came through town a couple of years ago, but you won't miss any of the pagentry - the songs and dance numbers fill the stage and as always at Chicago Shakespeare, you can expect plenty of inventive stagecraft. Dragon is smaller but more nimble this time around. Your jaw will drop as Alexis J. Rogers wails her "And I Am Telling You"-style love song to Donkey WHILE bringing the 10 foot dragon puppet to life IN PLATFORM HEELS.

The four kids with me (who were guests of the kind folks at Chicago Shakespeare) loved Fiona and Shrek's fart and burb contest but I was laughing hardest at Travis Taylor's manic dancing on his knees as diminutive Lord Farquaad in a gloriously bad pageboy haircut.

The show runs through September 1; you won't want to miss it!

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