Playhouse Merced presents 'Shrek the Musical'

Sun-Star CorrespondentFebruary 27, 2014 

  • Shrek the Musical

    When: Opens today and plays three weekends through March 16. Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 and Sundays at 2 p.m.

    Where: Playhouse Merced, 452 W. Main St., Merced

    Cost: Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $12 for students and $10 for children.

    Tickets: Purchase tickets by calling (209) 725-8587, or visiting the box office at 452 W. Main St., Merced, Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

— A beloved green ogre is coming to Playhouse Merced in the popular Broadway show “Shrek the Musical.”

“It’s a fun modern musical with a surprisingly deep message,” said Stephen Mouillesseaux, who plays Shrek. “I was first exposed to the music, which I instantly fell in love with. The songs are all at once fun, catchy, meaningful and expressive. The harmonies are surprisingly intricate for this type of show. Plenty of people will be tapping their feet.”

“Shrek the Musical” tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess, and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales.

“I grew up loving the movie, so when I heard it got turned into a musical and that Playhouse was doing it I had to be apart of it,” said G.B. Blackmon, who plays the role of Donkey. “Its such a fun twist on a fairytale where the message is be yourself and you will have your happily ever after.”

Playhouse Merced’s production is directed by Robert Hypes and is musically directed by Joel Scott Shade. It also stars local favorites Corey Strauss, Dianne Kocher and Melissa Beckwith, along with Beki Rush, Jade Seymour, Jesse Stofle, Katt Szyndler, Lauren Miller, Madison Mitchell, Patrick Keegan McKenna, Patti Feliciano, Elena Carter, Garrett Mayer and Rachel De Vera.

“As always, we have the amazing amount of talent found in the crew of Playhouse Merced,” Mouillesseaux said. “The costumes are as fun, extravagant, and downright ridiculous as one might expect from a Broadway musical about fairy tale characters. And the makeup job Rob Hypes, Chad Phillips and Corey Strauss were able to devise for the big green guy is nothing short of wonderful. It’s something you’ll have to see to believe.”

As much as he loves the music and pageantry of “Shrek the Musical,” it’s the story itself that Mouillesseaux really connects with.

“The story drew me in even more,” he said. “Personally, I connect heavily with Shrek. He and I have quite a bit in common, and I’m sure a lot of other folks will identify with him, too. It’s a story of accepting everyone despite our differences, as well as loving ourselves, splinters and all.”

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