Shrek Gets West End Green Light After Broadway???Date: 15 December 2008
Shrek – The Musical - the stage adaptation of the animated films which is produced by Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions and, in the company’s theatrical debut, the Hollywood studio Dreamworks (See News, 15 Oct 2004) - at last received its world premiere last night (14 December 2008) in New York. And, despite mixed reviews for the Broadway production, plans are still going ahead for the show’s West End transfer.
Dreamworks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg told the Evening Standard newspaper: “For Shrek to open on Broadway and then have a run in the West End is what we are hoping for." Mendes added that, in his opinion, “there is a place on Broadway, and hopefully the West End, for a kids' show that was anarchic rather than serious. The Lion King is magnificent, but it is quite serious. Shrek is irreverent and pure fun. It's a good night out and offers a great way for kids to be introduced to the theatre."
Originally expected on Broadway in 2005, Shrek is based on the Oscar-winning 2001 animated film about a lonely green ogre who finds happiness with the help of a wise-cracking donkey and a tough-talking princess. It has a score by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It’s directed by Jason Moore.
The powerful New York Times critic Ben Brantley described Shrek as a “leaden fairy-tale-theme costume party” but conceded that it possesses some “goofy, genuine charm”. Others were more positive, including USA Today, which said “it looks like a big, fat hit". Amongst the stars who turned out on the green carpet on opening night were Cameron Diaz, who voiced the heroine Fiona in the films.