By Annie Roe and Taylor Worley
Viera High School’s Starhawks Productions chose to perform Shrek The Musical as this year’s spring musical, replicating both the movie and the Broadway show. The show opened to the public on Thursday night at 7:00pm, and continued through the weekend with a 7:00pm show on Saturday, and two shows at 2:00pm and 7:00pm on Sunday. After seeing the show on opening night, we gave the play an overall rating of three and a half stars.
The realism of the musical was thrilling. The chemistry between Shrek (Jon Schwardtfeger) and Fiona (Hayley VerValin) was believable from the moment the curtains opened, till the final number. Viera High School sophomore Halie Beasley agrees, saying, “Their chemistry was totally realistic!” We enjoyed watching the two performers interact as if they both really were the lead characters. They let their own personalities shine through their parts to create a true original performance. The acting of the majority of the cast was phenomenal. The ability for each member to immerse themselves in their part was very impressive. The singing was exceptional; pitch and projection of the voice being the only drawbacks of the overall cast.
Most of the costumes made for the musical were of professional quality. Shrek’s costume took the cake for the most realistic looking, having paper mache molded to Schwardtfeger’s head and painted green to form Shrek’s ogre appearance. His clothes were practically identical to those used in the Broadway musical and those seen in the animated movie. Fiona’s hand-made wedding dress was beautiful, making several audience members’ jaws drop to the floor. Meisje Connor, the AP Language teacher at Viera High School, quoted, “I was impressed by the creativity that went into the costumes.” The costume she was most fascinated by was Gingy, stating, “A talking cookie on a cookie sheet? I forgot I was looking at a puppet.” The sets were very well put together, sucking the audience in and making us feel like we were actually apart of the story. The Kingdom of Duloc was the most impressive set in the show, having tall towers and a balcony which Lord Farquaad performed a number.
The Technical aspects of Shrek were definitely not up to par. The pictures on the projector that were supposed to show the setting of the scene continuously changed, hopping from one setting to another on multiple occasions throughout the show; sometimes lasting up to almost a minute. Cameron Smithwick, a junior at Viera High School, commented that, “There were minor problems with the microphones,” such as cutting out random parts of musical numbers through the entirety of the play. On another aspect of the show, there was the issue of the band. Loud instruments often overtook the voices of the performers, drowning them out in a sea of brass and strings.
Seeing Shrek The Musical was a personal experience; each audience member taking away their own favorite lines and songs from the show. Starhawks productions put on a show that was definitely not to be missed. Even though the tech skills were questionable, and the band was a little too loud, the overall musical performance was outstanding.