7:45: Calling all ogres and donkeys! This fairy tale is blogging from the Cadillac Palace Theatre during Shrek the Musical (as sanctioned press — kids, don’t try this at home, er, at a live performance). It’s 15 minutes to showtime, and I’m sitting in the back of the house (safely tucked away from the rest of the audience as to not annoy them) with my netbook. Exciting! Keep hitting “refresh” to see updates.
7:55: I can hear the trumpet warming up. Interesting factoid: Carey Deadman (who plays trumpet in this show and countless others) and I share a hometown link: his father owns the music store in Alpena, MI, where I grew up.
7:57: They’re telling us to turn off our wireless devices. Don’t think that applies to me.
7:59: Semi-full house. Nice to see so many kids in the theatre with parents. This is what the theatre is all about.
8:04: Oh, Julie Andrews’ pre show announcement. I heart you.
8:07: Responsive audience to opening number, “It’s a Big, Bright Beautiful World.”
8:16: Spotty wireless. I love Peter Pan’s blue hair. And Shrek (Eric Peterson) is stealing the show again.
8:18: Hi latecomers.
8:20: “Take a right by Oprah’s castle.” Ha. Is Gayle keeping guard?
8:21: That’s some unflattering thigh padding, Donkey (Alan Mingo, Jr.).
8:22: Donkey wants to join Shrek on his journey. Will he persuade him? I think a song is in order.
8:26: Farquaad is on…his…way!
8:30: My. That’s some codpiece, guy playing the executioner.
8:40: I don’t recall Farquaad having a spangled costume for his big number (“What’s Up Duloc?”) on press night. A fancy upgrade.
8:41: Here comes the trio of Fionas! Madison Mullahey is on as Young Fiona.
8:45: “It’s me Finooonaaaahhhh!”
8:47: “This ass of mine is asinine.” Well played, Shrek.
8:48: So there’ve been Wicked and Lion King references so far. What else?
8:53: Hi, amazing dragon puppet! Operated by four people! (Sing it, Carrie Compere!)
8:56: Dreamgirls reference!
9:00: Shrek’s “saving” Fiona. How romantic.
9:03: Hit that high belt note, Haven Burton (Fiona)! Hit it!! Yesss….
9:05: Spoilers alert: Fiona has discovered Shrek is an…OGRE!
9:15: Intermission. Gotta pee! Wonder if that Shrek will find true love…
9:20: Gator’s enjoying the show. Finds the music a little boring, but likes the acting and the story. And the codpiece.
9:24: The Cadillac Palace house manager (I think?) came back to check on me. See how I was doing. How nice of her.
9:30: Family in front of me is eating a dinner of Fruit Rollups and Twix bars. I wish I had parents like that.
9:35: Contrary to Fiona, I’m so not a morning person.
9:38: Hee. Fiona said “daisy chain.”
9:42: We’re into “I Think I Got You Beat” (aka “the fart song”). The audience is eating it up. I’m shaking my head.
9:47: Lord Farquaad’s midget legs makes me nervous.
9:55: It’s so amazing to me that Shrek composer (Jeanine Tesori) also wrote “Lot’s Wife” from Caroline, or Change (Court Theatre should remount their landmark production of that show already). Talk about versatility.
10:00: Ah — the 10 o-clock number. “When Words Fail” is great character song for Shrek as he proclaims his secret love for Fiona. Especially when Eric Peterson performs it.
10:08: Oh, wait — is this song (“Ten Foot Wall”) the 10 o-clock number?
10:15: Waive your freak flag high, fellow freaks! This comes from a blogging musical theatre nerd blogging in a theatre during a musical. You can’t get any nerdier (or meta) than that. Freak.
10:21: Shrek just ran down the aisle — right by me — to stop Fiona from marrying Lord Farquaad. Will he be too late???
10:22: Phew. Close call. There’s still a chance.
10:25: Yay for body doubles and quick changes — i.e., Fiona’s spell is being broken.
10:30: Happy ending! And now for a sing-off with the cast, post curtain-call. A superfun way to end a superfun show.
10:40: This was fun! Hope you enjoyed reading. Time to pack it up. Thanks Margie Korshak, Inc. and Broadway in Chicago for arranging this fun and unique opportunity!