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Shrek the Musical’ to peel back the ogre’s layers for Columbus

Courtesy of Joan Marcus

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Fairytales might depict ogres as ugly creatures that grind human bones to make bread, but at least one storybook ogre will be putting on his dancing shoes and heading for the bright lights of the stage.

“Shrek the Musical” is scheduled to open Tuesday at the Ohio Theatre. The musical and films are based on the book, “Shrek!” by William Steig, which was published in 1990.

Familiar characters from the film series will return to tell the story of a young ogre making his way in the world.

A Columbus local, Liz Shivener, will play the role of Princess Fiona. Shivener is known for her role as Belle in a national tour of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” in 2011.

While the minor roles are more static in the Shrek films, the musical gives them more depth, Shivener said.

“What I like about the musical is you get to spend more time with the minor characters of the fairytale world,” she said.

Shivener said she enjoys her role as Princess Fiona because the character has two sides — the princess everyone expects her to be and her true self, Shivener said.

“She’s two people really … She can play Rapunzel, very proper and pristine and in a split second, she turns into her true self: this loud … clumsy kind of girl,” Shivener said. “She’s fun to play on stage, she’s not your typical princess. She’s got some depth to her.”

Shivener said her favorite song is “Who I’d Be,” which features the three main characters: Shrek, Donkey and Fiona.

“It’s a trio, but the characters don’t know they’re singing together,” Shivener said. “They all think that they’re alone and unbeknownst to them, all their musical lines are merging together.”

Martin Savolskis, a third-year masters student in scenic design, said films made into musicals usually go one of two ways: the musicals either stay very true to the original or they create a totally new story.

“I expect (it to be) as much fun as the film and hopefully (have) some of the magic,” Savolskis said.

Members of the student organization Off the Lake Productions also plan to check out the show Tuesday evening.

“I know several people in OTL are seeing the show this Tuesday including myself,” said Brandi Harris, a third-year in fashion and retail studies and director of Off The Lake Productions, in an email.  

Discounted tickets are available for $20 at D-Tix at the Ohio Union with a BuckID. They will be released Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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