The Dreamworks Animation Shrek franchise has been widely successful and is loved by over 41 million fans around the world. Its success brought about the Broadway musical in 2008. In this post, you’ll learn some fun facts about Shrek The Musical that may surprise you!
Shrek The Musical Script
- Shrek is based on a children’s Book: You’ve probably never read the book, but the idea for Shrek came from a children’s book. Late cartoonist William Stieg published Shrek in 1990, 11 years later it became a Dreamworks animated film, and in 2008, the first Shrek The Musical Broadway performance began.
Photo Credit: Amazon
- Get to know the young Fiona: In the movie, we meet Fiona as a young adult woman stuck in a castle, a plot somewhat similar to Sleeping Beauty but this is not the case in Shrek The Musical! Instead, we watch Fiona, grow from a young cheerful girl to a hopeful teenager and finally to a quirky adult. The song, “I know it’s today” gives the audience more in-depth background information about Fiona’s life story.
Shrek The Musical Songs
- There are exciting new songs to sing along to: Once you watch the musical, you will quickly realize that you don’t recognize the songs. That’s because many new songs were written for the Musical. A few songs from the movie like “I’ am a believer”, remained. Some fan favorites are- “Freak Flag”, “Big Bright Beautiful World”, “I know it’s today”, “Story Of My Life”, and many more!
- The musical was choreographed by Josh Prince: who also choreographed the Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
- Jeanine Tesori wrote the music for Shrek The Musical: She also wrote the music for Thoroughly Modern Millie, Violet, ‘Caroline, or Change, & Fun Home.
- Lord Farquaad makes a reference to the hit Broadway Musical Wicked: at the end of ‘What’s Up, Duloc?’ when he sings “and no one’s gonna bring me down!”
Shrek The Musical Cast
- Brian D’Arcy James originated the role of Shrek on Broadway: Several other actors namely Eric Petersen, Nigel Lindsay, Dean Chisnall, and Chris Munlep also played the role.
- The Dragon wasn’t voiced by a soloist: Between 2008 – 2010, the voice of the Dragon was done by Broadway company members Haven Burton, Aymee Garcia, and Rachel Stern.
- The Original Broadway cast starred Sutton Foster in the role of Fiona: While she can now be seen on TV in shows like Younger’ & Bunheads, she also originated roles in numerous musicals on Broadway, including Little Women, Drowsy Chaperone, and Young Frankenstein. She has six Tony award nominations and has won twice: once for Thoroughly Modern Millie and the other for the 2011 revival of Anything Goes.
Other Fun Facts
- Bill Muray was almost cast as Donkey: Can you imagine not hearing the sound of Eddie Murphy’s comedic voice in Donkey? Neither can we, but it almost didn’t happen. Director, Steven Spielberg initially had Bill Murray in mind to be the voice of Donkey. However, the project didn’t go through until 1994 when he founded Dreamworks and by then things had changed and Eddie Murphy was cast as Donkey instead. Daniel Breaker is best known for playing Donkey in Shrek The Musical. He has also played Aaron Burr in the Hamilton.
Photo Credit: Flickr
- Shrek is not a random name: The word “Shrek” is derived from “Shrek Lekh” in Yiddish which could mean awful or terrible and “Schrecklich” in German that similarly means dreadful.
- Shrek The Musical won two awards for costume design: a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award.
Photo Credit: Flickr
- Puss In Boots makes a short appearance: Although the character is not featured in the musical, Puss In Boots makes a silent cameo as he tips his hat to Shrek & Donkey during “Traveling Song”.
- Shrek is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Shrek is one out of the 17 fictional characters on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Which one of these fun facts surprised you? Let us know in the comment section. If you love Shrek as much as we do, join us on MyMainstage, our virtual theatre camp to share your love for Shrek with us!