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MPO's 'Shrek the Musical' next at Kelsey Theatre

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Everyone’s favorite upside-down fairytale comes to Kelsey Theatre when Maurer Productions OnStage (MPO) presents “Shrek the Musical,” a live song-and-dance-filled stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film. The show will run at Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor campus of Mercer County Community College. Dates and times for this production are Fridays, May 30 and June 6 at 8 pm; Saturdays May 31 and June 7 at 2 pm and 8 pm; and Sundays, June 1, and 8th at 2pm. A reception with the cast and crew will follow the opening night performance.

On the heels of hits like “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “Avenue Q,” MPO now brings audiences a faraway kingdom with a twist. In the Kingdom of Duloc things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey that won't shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand – and his name is Shrek.

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, this live stage version of “Shrek the Musical” was nominated for eight Tony Awards including best score and best book for a musical when it originally opened on Broadway in 2008. “Shrek the Musical” is part romance, part fractured fairy tale and 100% irreverent fun for the whole family.

“Shrek is an exciting show to both watch and stage,” said Laurie Gougher, the show’s director. “There are a lot of great songs and signature moments from the movie, but I especially love how the world of Duloc is fully realized with so many memorable characters. There’s something in this show for everyone.”
“Shrek the Musical” will be the largest and most complex production MPO has mounted in its nine year history. With 35 actors, more than 60 fairy tale costumes, scores of props, and 16 hand-crafted puppets including a 24 foot dragon, this production is a monster.

“Maurer Productions OnStage has never shied away from a challenge,” said John Maurer, MPO’s artistic director and the show’s executive producer. “Over the years we’ve produced “Singin’ in the Rain,” with real rain on stage; “Avenue Q,” with a cast of custom-made puppets; “Spamalot,” with a giant wooden rabbit; and “Shrek the Musical” will be no different. This production not only features a large talented cast, but also a 24 foot dragon that will be singing, dancing, flying and interacting with all our actors.”

Leading this merry band of fairy tale characters is Jarad Benn of West Chester, PA as Shrek; Kim Cupo of Fairless Hills, PA as Princess Fiona; Kyrus Keenan Westcott of Hamilton as Donkey; and Nicholas Pecht of Hamilton as Lord Farquaad.

Filling out the Kingdom of Duloc are Margot Bergeron of Hamilton, NJ; Evan Bilinski of Franklin Park, NJ; Addison Blumberg of Yardley, PA; Justin Derry of Langhorne, PA; Susan Fowler of New Hope, PA; Charlotte and Rob Gougher of Newtown, PA; Simon Hamilton of Princeton, NJ; Bridget Hughes of Jackson, NJ; Kristen Kane of Plainsboro, NJ; Rosie and Scott Karlin of Plainsboro, NJ; Jon Knapp of Jamison, PA; Anna Kralik of Hamilton, NJ; Jonathan Logan of West Windsor, NJ; Amanda Mancino of Bordentown, NJ; Jaimie McMillin of Bordentown, NJ; Michael Mitgang of West Windsor, NJ; Abby Oliver of Hamilton, NJ; Sally Page of Princeton, NJ; Danielle Paglino of Marlboro, NJ; Caroline Purdy of Cranbury, NJ; Donna Reed of Bordentown, NJ; Aimee Robidoux of Levittown, PA; Lexi Schlaifer of Hightstown, NJ; Dominique Shaw of Hamilton, NJ; Liam Smith of Yardley, PA; Matt South of Levittown, PA; Nicky Torchia of Langhorne, PA; Wesley Cappiello of Hamilton, NJ; Julianna Zannikos of Doylestown, PA.

“Shrek the Musical” is produced by John M. Maurer, Diana Gilman Maurer, and Dan Maurer. In addition to Director Laurie Gougher, the production team includes Musical Director Peter de Mets, Choreographer Stephanie Venanzi, Costume Designer Kathy Slothower, Makeup Designer Vicky Czarnik, Lighting Designer M. Kitty Getlik, Prop Mistress Dottie Farina, Master Set Builder Jeff Cantor, Stage Manager Beverly Kuo Hamilton, Set Designer and Master Puppeteer John M. Maurer, Scenic Artist Amy Bessellieu, and Sound Engineer Nick Mastalesz.

Tickets are $20 for all tickets and may be purchased by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333 or online at www.kelseyatmccc.org. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Free parking is available next to the theater. More information about this production of “Shrek the Musical” can be found online at www.mponstage.com.

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