Broadway Features and Reviews
Shrek Before Broadway
By Tara Puckey, Broadway Magazine
The green, bodily-function happy, whimsical ogre loved by children the world over will be making his debut on Broadway. Shrek: The Musical will open at The Broadway Theatre on Sunday, December 14th. The charming, ugly monster will be played by Brian d'Arcy James, who spends almost two hours before each performance "turning green". Joining him include seasoned performers Sutton Foster and Christopher Sieber.
Although most of us are familiar with the motion picture Shrek and it's sequels, the sophisticatedly witty story was envisioned by William Steig, a man Newsweek called the "King of Cartoons". Steig was born in New York in 1907 and began illustrating for the New Yorker in 1930 to help support his family during hard economic times. He ultimately produced over sixteen hundred drawings and at the age of sixty-one, began writing children's books. Stories with a positive focus on nature, the security of home and family, and the importance of friendship have impacted the imagination of children everywhere. Graced with the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1967, Steig continued creating enthusiastic and creative stories, ultimately selling almost two million books.
The most famous of his works, a result of the popular movie, is Shrek. Written by Steig in 1990, the title is taken from the German and Yiddish word meaning "fear" and "terror". A wonderfully inspiring story, the book features a hideous ogre who goes out in search of adventure and finds a horrid princess even more ugly than he is. The tale, imaginative and full of common sense, was awarded the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, as well as the Publishers Weekly Notable Children's Book of the Year. Full of magic, chaos, and fulfillment, the book has inspired three major motion pictures, soon to be followed by a fourth in 2010. Sadly, Steig died at the age of 95 in 2003, but not before leaving behind a legacy of wide-eyed and enchanting books to be loved for centuries.
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