This post is brought to you by Broadway San Jose, whose show Shrek the Musical plays September 20-25, 2011. At the bottom there's a chance to win tickets to the show.
The History of Shrek the Musical
Shrek The Musical, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage. In 2001 a well-loved, but lesser known children’s book became an overnight sensation when DreamWorks Animation launched the film Shrek to overwhelming, worldwide acclaim.
Over seventy years earlier, famed illustrator William Steig began his career spanning over 600 drawings and 117 covers for The New Yorker before beginning a late-in-life career as a children’s book author and illustrator. In 1990, the semi-retired illustrator penned the now famous story about a loveable ogre and his quest to reclaim his home from the evil Lord Farquaad. Along the way, the ogre meets the love of his life and his life-long best friend taking a conventional fairy-tale and turning it upside down.
This twist and modernization of a fairy-tale caught the eye of DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg who immediately fell in love with the story and characters. Academy Award-winning film director Sam Mendes thought the project would be perfect for a Broadway musical, but Jeffrey felt the first step in the process would be to see how these characters came to life on the silver screen before taking on the Great White Way. Shrek had its fairy tale ending, going on to become one of the most successful film series of all time.
With its Hollywood success, it was time to take Broadway by storm. DreamWorks assembled some of the most celebrated, talented and slightly twisted creatives working on Broadway with David Lindsay-Abaire (Book and Lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (Music), Jason Moore and Rob Ashford (Co-Directors) at the helm. They turned to the top notch designer Tim Hatley for sets and costumes. Shrek The Musical debuted in the summer of 2008 at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre before opening on Broadway December 14, 2008. During its Broadway run it played over 500 performances, garnered eight 2009 Tony Award nominations, and ranked as one of the top 10 highest grossing musicals of 2009. Shrek and Donkey packed their bags for a whirlwind, cross-country adventure which began in Chicago the summer of 2010. Cross-country became global when Shrek The Musical opened in London in May 2012.
THE WORLD OF SHREK
Once upon a time in a land not so far, far away… history was made by afilm that captured the world’s imagination. In 2001, DreamWorks Animation released a film about a big, lovable, ugly green ogre in search of love, winning the hearts of millions and going on to be awarded the first ever Academy Award for Animated Feature film. Based on the children’s book by the famed New Yorker illustrator William Steig, Shrek told the story of an unlikely hero and his quest to find true love. Shrek went on to be the third highest grossing film of 2001 and the #6 highest grossing animated film of all time.
Shrek 2, in 2004, went on to prove the popularity of the beloved ogre, having one of the biggest opening weekends of all time and going on to take the number one spot as highest grossing animated film of all time (to the tune ofover $441 million) and the number five top movie of all time behind Star Wars. Shrek the Third followed in 2007 having the biggest animated movie opening ever and becoming the third biggest movie opening of all time. Now a trilogy, Shrek had cemented himself and his princess Fiona, Donkey and the whole gang as some of the most beloved movie characters ever.
A successful holiday special, Shrek The Halls, has since debuted and is in its third year as a new holiday classic both on TV and DVD. On May 21, 2010, the loveable green guy and all his pals were back on the silver screen with the final chapter in the Shrek series, Shrek Forever After.