Shrek the Musical Review

There was, without a doubt, some skepticism when it was announced that “Shrek the Musical” would be the school musical this year- but, Dakota productions never cease to amaze their audience. It has been in production since September, and the cast and crew have been hard at work to create the perfect show. After personally watching it last Friday, I think it is safe to say that they have succeeded in putting on a wonderful show that everyone should go see. 

Lead by artistic and executive director Christian Boni, the show has been a smashing success. “Shrek” is the story of an Ogar, Shrek, who was left alone by his parents to live in a swamp. A grown-up, bitter Shrek is interrupted in his life of solitude by a group of fairy-tale creatures who are forced onto his property by the evil Lord Farquaad. He confronts Farquaad, which is when he is sent on a mission to save isolated Princess Fiona from her tower, which is guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. Along the way, he teams up with Donkey, a talkative, comedic character in the show. Fiona was expecting a prince to save her and marry her, but is surprised when she is met with the ugly Ogar. But, on their journey back to Duloc, the unlikely pair fall in love. The audience also finds out Fiona has a secret of her own, and there are many bumps along the way. But finally, as she is being wed to Lord Farquaad, Shrek interrupts the wedding, and declares his affections. Fiona decides not to marry Farquaad, and he is killed by the dragon who had guarded Fiona’s tower. With Farquaad no longer ruling over Duloc, all the fairy-tale creatures, who Farquaad declared “freaks”, are accepted back to society to live with Shrek and Fiona in charge. It is a very interesting story line with a great message about being proud of who you are and accepting imperfections, displayed wonderfully by Boni, the cast, and crew. This is just a brief overview and is nowhere near as impactful as seeing the show for yourself.  

One great thing about this musical as a high school show is that it offers many solos and spotlights. This musical allows everyone the opportunity to shine with its main cast, fairy-tale creatures, featured roles, and ensemble. It also has a hard-working crew who put together awesome visuals with lighting, the set, props, costumes, and sound. 

Senior Ashton Posner is playing the lead in the musical, Shrek, this year. After twelve years of dancing, Ashton is a natural on the stage, paired with his fantastic voice and incredible costume. He plays a large leadership role in the group by playing the lead, to which he replied, “With being the lead, I just love being able to spend nearly all my time at rehearsals and being able to use said “lead role” to keep everyone connected and make everyone feel safe and welcome”. When asked what his favorite part of being in the musical is, Posner said, “Being in the musical is very enjoyable for me because it brings people of all backgrounds together to share the same love of preforming and making others happy.” Be sure to come witness his talent this weekend in his final performance at Dakota. 

Senior Claire Kraft plays the female lead, Princess Fiona. As a seasoned member of the choir program, this is Claire’s fifth show at Dakota. She makes a beautiful Fiona with her confident voice and positive attitude. We asked Claire to tell us about her role in the musical, and favorite song. She says, “Princess Fiona is not your typical princess; I would say she is relatable through her attitudes and expressions. My favorite song in the show is ‘I’m a Believer’ because it is a wholesome ending to the show.” 

Nya Jones plays the third lead role in the show, Donkey. She is a powerhouse, with a beautiful, strong voice and an attitude that shows when she performs. She’s an amazing actress, who’s sass and spunk show through Donkey’s character. Her personality truly shines when she takes the stage. When we asked Jones what her favorite part about being in the show is, and she said, “My favorite part of the show would probably the end where we all come together.” 

Juniors Dante Dagati, who plays Lord Farquaad, and Aliza Black, who plays the dragon, also deserve recognition for their brilliant performances. They both have beautiful, strong voices and incredible talent. There is no doubt that big things are coming for them next year! 

We asked some of the cast first-hand why people should come see the show. According to Jones, “People should see the musical because it helps show that anyone from different backgrounds or stories can come together”. Monday Skrocki, who plays Gingey, another key role, says, “Shrek has been in production since September- genuinely surreal to see how it’s grown. The show itself is one of a kind- we are utilizing every part of the auditorium we can- the aisles, aprons, old props, ramps, and interaction makes it all the more special and fun for the audience when we are literally running and dancing around you!” 

Skrocki also wanted to share that they have “met a lot of people I would have never been friends with if I wasn’t a part of [the musical]. I feel seen with the story I’m telling- singing about accepting yourself despite flaws is great, but getting to do it with my friends is something I only get to experience nine times. I’m breathing it in as much as I can!” 

Congratulations to the entire cast on an incredible show! 

Do not miss the opportunity to see this “Shrek the Musical”! The talented Dakota students, cast, crew, and theatre program overall have worked so hard to make it happen, and it is truly amazing. The last three shows will be tonight, Friday February 9th, at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, February 10th at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Be sure to get out and support your Friends and classmates!