(Posted Jan. 12, 2019)
down Shrek production a musical theatre master class
By Fred Sherwin
of the local theatre highlights of the year has always been
the St. Peter High School musical theatre production, which
in the past have included such memorable performances as
Shrek the Musical in 2014, Tarzan the Musical in
2015 and last year's Sister Act.
St. Peter High School production of Shrek
the Musical stars Sydney Maloney as Fiona
and Jason Kokkovas in the lead role as Shrek.
year, St. Peter`s musical theatre instructor Bernard Leger
decided to stage a reprisal of Shrek the Musical,
but not just any reprisal. Instead of a standard set up
with an elevated stage, a live orchestra kept out of sight
in an orchestra pit and elaborate props amd back drops,
Leger and company decided to produced a striped down version
that's much more dependent on the performances of the
actual players and especially the vocals.
of an elevated stage and an orchestra pit, the St. Peter
production takes place in the intimate confines of the
Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre in what
they refer to as the flat floor set up. In other words
the production is on the same level as the first 10 rows
of seats with the orchestra in behind. Instead of elaborate
backdrops, an easel is situated at either side of the
stage on which drawings of different still lifes are placed
depending on the scene. One of the drawings is of a forest,
another is a castle tower and so on.
change from past productions is the sound. Instead of
outfitting all of the main players with wireless headsets,
there is one lone microphone stand at centre stage and
two microphone stands on risers at each side of the stage
in the background.
set uo is made use of during the opening when Shrek, played
by Jason Kokkovas takes centre stage while Shrek's parents
are at the microphones on the risers.
is a wonderful story to begin with. but brought to life
by a wonderfully talented cast who can sing their butts
off, accompanied by an equally talented orchestra, it
is pure magic.
original Shrek the Musical was adapted from the
book for the Broadway stage by playwright and lyricist
David Lindsay-Abaire in collaboration with composer Jeanine
the most part the St. Peter production stays true to the
script, but the cast has been allowed to add a little
of their own personalities to mix with the odd improvisation.
for the performances themselves, let's just say that Leger
has once again been blessed with some ridiculously talented
students, starting with Sydney Maloney who plays Fiona.
Grade 12 senior was a one of the standouts in last year's
production of Sister Act. Here return to the stage
in this year's production of Shrek is nothing less
than a revelation. Simply put, she's brilliant. If Disney
is looking for a princesss in one of their theme parks,
they should look no further Miss Maloiney. She was made
for the musical theatre stag. I haven't seen anyone that
talented since Steffi DiDomenicantonio, better known as
Steffi D from Canadian Idol fame, who is enjoying a successful
television and stage career.
as well to Kokkovas, who also performed in Sister Act,
as Lt. Souther. The Grade 11 student has an incredibly
powerful voice which is ideally suited to the intimate
staging of this year's production.
then there's Donkey, who is played by Jamie Elliot, who
is extremely talented in her own right and perfectly cast
as Shrek's traveling buddy. It should be noted that Miss
Elliot is a she and not a he. Yes, I am aware that Donkey
is a male character, and Elliot plays him as such which
is a credit to her tremendous talent. She is also very
funny and plays off Kokkovas' Shrek to near perfection.
She also has an excellent voice.
for the remainder of the cast. they are a number of vocal
performances that stood out including Kinsley Jura, who
plays the dragon, Manoha Jean Baptiste as Pinocchio, Calista
Guy as Gingy and Kayle Bernier as the wicked witch.
of my favourite moments of the production were the ensemble
performances which include "Story of My Life".
"Freak Flag" and The Monkees hit, "I'm
a Beliver". which brings the production to a close.
still trying to figure out who performed as Lord Farquaad,
who was represented on stage by a diminutive puppet. At
times his lines were delivered by Josh Sharma and at other
times they were piped in through the PA while Sharma moved
the puppets mouth. Despite being slightly confusing, it
did not take away from the overall experience and Sharma
was on point when he was on stage.
play continues with two performances today (Saturday,
Jan. 12) at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are available at
Shrek the Musical perform 'I'm a Believer'
at the close of this year's St. Peter High
School musical theatre production. Fred Sherwin/Photo
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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