Bainbridge Performing Arts knew that its current production of Shrek would be a draw, but perhaps not as much as the big green guy garnered during the musical’s opening week.
“The preview night was the best in BPA history, they got the most donations ever,” said Justin Lynn, the actor who dons the green to take on the title role.
The theater will often hold preview performances, for donations, the day before the official opening night.
“We have sold out every night since,” Lynn said. “Tickets keep going fast.”
“Shrek the Musical” is an adaptation of the 2001 hit animated film showcasing the voices of Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy.
“Which itself was an adaptation of a 1990 book,” Lynn notes.
While the film has graced many screens in the decade since its release, the musical is certain to bring more to the story for fans to enjoy, Lynn said.
“It’s much bigger,” he said. “Just in scope and there’s more inclusion of other characters.”
“In the musical they have their own story arch and there’s a secondary story to follow,” Lynn added. “There’s more interaction between the three main characters, then there’s more of the villain. There’s more of everything.”
And of course, there’s the added music to accompany the story.
“The music kind of deviates from a traditional musical,” Lynn said. “It’s very inspired by different types of music. There’s some grunge in there, like Pearl Jam style, then there’s some Dave Matthews Band, or Earth Wind and Fire. It borrows heavily from those styles.”
Lynn further noted that it also makes a variety of homages to other productions, for those in-the-know.
“There’s about 66 references to other musicals from “Wicked,” “Les Mis,” “Jersey boys” and others,” he said.
In other words, while the musical is perfectly apt for younger audiences, it’s more than just a show for youngsters.
“It has a broad reach,” Lynn said. “Everyone can come see this show.”
“A lot of people I spoke with, before it opened, were hesitant to come see it because they thought it was a children’s show, but it’s really not,” he added. “It’s big and colorful and has a great message which appeals to children, but there are a lot of jokes that go over kids’ heads and go straight to adults. The show has something for everybody.”
Lynn is joined on stage by DeSean Halley as Donkey, Emily Kight as Princess Fiona and James Sgambati as Lord Farquaad, along with an extensive ensemble and supporting cast.
“Shrek the Musical” continues at Bainbridge Performing Arts each weekend until Oct. 27.
Visit www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org for tickets and show times.
“Shrek the Musical”
When: Through Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. 3 p.m. performance on Sundays.
Where: Bainbrige Performing Arts, 200 Madison Avenue North, Bainbridge Island.
What: Bainbridge Performing Arts presents the Tony Award winning “Shrek the Musical.”