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Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
United States
Indiana
Indianapolis, IN
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Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's Shrek, the Musical a Delight

by Rita Kohn
May 24, 2017
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317-872-9664
The family-centric Shrek, the Musical at Indianapolis-based Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is a delightful production clearly underscoring what makes each of us special and, through acceptance of this individuality, leads us to become a family/a community of caring people, united by a common bond to live a life of quality within our own abilities. What everyone desires is to have the opportunity to thrive. Fiona is a princess under a spell; Shrek is an outcast; storybook characters are freaks; Donkey is a character out of Shakespeare; Lord Farquaad is a bully out-of-control; Dragon is just doing her job.

This musical created by Jeanine Tesoro [music] and David Lindsay-Abaire [book and lyrics], is a long stretch from the original 1990s children’s book by William Steig, though closer to DreamWorks’ 2001 film. Nevertheless, what endeared the Ogre to three-four-five-year-olds endures. He’s got spunk, and despite what anyone/everyone thinks of him, he’s got a big heart. But best of all, he prevails. Imagine passing through the trials of terrible twos and having to bear up to everyone else’s expectations when you’re three-four-five. Shrek gives a toddler growing into pre-K hopefulness; hey, there’s a road out there leading you to rescue a princess and happily ever after; even if you’re ‘frightful,’ even if you’re afraid of that world out there.

You don’t have to be a regular to Beer & Boards to cheer for Peter Scharbrough, who embodies Shrek with the pluck and lovability of Pooh. Peter is the B&B company member who’s always backing the star. Here he is the star, singing and dancing like the pro he is, only this time in center spotlight. Emily Grace Tucker and Julius Thomas, III, are newcomers to B&B, and equally embraced by the overflow audience on opening Saturday. As Fiona and Donkey, respectively, they stand up to Shrek as characters and with Peter as actors. John Vessels gives Lord Farquaad his due; Cody Knable makes you ache for Pinocchio’s real-boy-ness. There’s fire in Kelly Teal Goyetta’s Dragon, and up and down the line-up of storybook ‘freaks’ and castle guards and parents and children thrown out into the world or locked in a tower, is an ensemble of fifteen jumping in and out of costumes to sing and dance their way through fractured fairytales. So give credit as well to Danny Kingston, Jennifer Ladner, Amanda Lehman, Sally Scharbrough, Sam Seager, Kenny Shepard, AnnaLee Traeger, Emery Allen, Eric Best, Jack Ducat, Reagan Minnette, Anjali Tooney, Alden Shurr and Mary Kate Tanselle.

Directed and choreographed by Ron Morgan, it’s definitely a dancing show with no movement moment left behind. Julius Thomas makes Donkey the very model of litheness, never missing a caper or a swagger. In fact, every scene, every character is alive with movement.

Musical direction is by Terry Woods, who conducted the fine orchestra; costume design is by Travis Grant with MSMT costumes, Kurt Alger did wigs, Daniel Klingler did makeup. The functional scene design is by Michael Layton, Ryan Koharchck did lighting, Daniel Hesselbrock did sound. Elizabeth Stark kept it all together as stage manager.

Shrek, the Musical runs through July 2, 2017

Tickets range from $42.50 to $67.50 ($10 discounts for ages 3-15), and include Chef Odell Ward’s family-friendly dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea and lemonade. Ample free parking is also available.

For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays.

For complete show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.
Funny Foursome: Now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, 'Shrek, The Musical' features (from left) Donkey (Julius Thomas III), Shrek (Peter Scharbrough), Princess Fiona (Emily Grace Tucker) and Lord Farquaad (John Vessels).

Funny Foursome: Now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, "Shrek, The Musical" features (from left) Donkey (Julius Thomas III), Shrek (Peter Scharbrough), Princess Fiona (Emily Grace Tucker) and Lord Farquaad (John Vessels).

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


As they try to one up each other in their stories of tragic childhoods, Fiona (Emily Grace Tucker) pauses as she finds she has a lot in common with the ogre Shrek (Peter Scharbrough) who rescued her in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s premiere production of 'Shrek, The Musical.'

As they try to one up each other in their stories of tragic childhoods, Fiona (Emily Grace Tucker) pauses as she finds she has a lot in common with the ogre Shrek (Peter Scharbrough) who rescued her in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s premiere production of "Shrek, The Musical."

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Donkey (Julius Thomas III) leaps into the arms of the ogre Shrek (Peter Scharbrough) in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s premiere production of 'Shrek, The Musical.'

Donkey (Julius Thomas III) leaps into the arms of the ogre Shrek (Peter Scharbrough) in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s premiere production of "Shrek, The Musical."

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


rincess Fiona (Emily Grace Tucker) dreams of her own storybook happy ending as she waits in her tower singing “I Know It’s Today” in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s premiere production of 'Shrek, The Musical.'

rincess Fiona (Emily Grace Tucker) dreams of her own storybook happy ending as she waits in her tower singing “I Know It’s Today” in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s premiere production of "Shrek, The Musical."

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig

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