Veteran actor and Amish Acres favorite Jeremy Littlejohn is back on stage at the Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee in the holiday special “Shrek The Musical.” It’s a delight to watch for young and old alike.
Littlejohn is Shrek, an ogre, with a problem. Littlejohn is terrific, as usual.
The musical opens with puppets telling the story of Shrek’s childhood and how his parents sent him away when he turned 7. As the curtain opens, Shrek is an adult and is in a swamp.
A band of fairy tale characters disrupts his solitude and tell him they have been banned from the Kingdom of Duloc by Lord Farquaad (Musical Director Travis Smith). Farquaad said they were freaks and they would be put to death if they returned. Smith is outstanding as this very unlikeable person.
Shrek decided to see Lord Farquaad to get his privacy back. As he travels he rescues a donkey from Farquaad’s guards. Donkey (Brandon Martin) can talk and insists on staying with Shrek. Martin delights the audience with his antics.
Meanwhile, Farquaad is torturing Gingy the Gingerbread man (Joelle Rassi). He learns Princess Fiona (Olivia Corbello) is trapped in a castle guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. Farquaad decided he will marry her so he can become king. Corbello is a perfect princess and show her talent in many ways during the evening.
Fiona’s childhood is revealed with the help of Cora Callander as the young Fiona and Joelle Rassi as the teen Fiona. The princess dreams of a brave knight rescuing her from her tower. It’s a dream she refuses to give up.
When Shrek and Donkey arrive in Duloc, Farquaad demands Shrek rescue Flona. In return he will received the deed to his swamp.
Shrek and Donkey set off on another journey. At the castle Shrek rescues the princess and Donkey faces the dragon (Joyana Loraine Feller). As Shrek and Donkey get back together they have to escape the dragon, who has fallen in love with Donkey.
Fiona is, of course, shocked to learn Shrek is an ogre and not her prince charming. However, as the sun sets each evening Fiona transforms into an Ogress. A fact she hides. In the morning, she’s a princess again.
The show takes a number of twists and turns. Shrek has problems revealing his love for Fiona and then overhears a conversation she and Donkey have and thinks she is talking about him. He goes back to his swamp but finds he misses Fiona, Donkey shows up to save the day. But, does the show have a happy ending? Of course. But you will have to see it to find out what happens next.
Space does not allow me to name all of the actors in this production, including all of the fairy tale people. Many, like Joelle Rassi, play many parts. She’s the Sugar Plum Fairy, Gingy and the teen Fiona. This teen is talented beyond her years and it shows every time she takes the Amish Acres stage. Hats off to all and a big “job well done” to Amber Burgess, who takes Littlejohn’s director’s chair for this musical.
For tickets or information call (800) 800-4942 or online at AmishAcres.com. “Shrek” continues through Dec. 31.