SHREK THE MUSICAL is a stage play with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film SHREK and William Steig's 1990 book SHREK!. After a tryout in Seattle, the original Broadway production opened in December 2008, and closed after a run of over 12 months in January 2010. It was followed by a tour of the United States which opened in 2010. A re-vamped West End production opened in June 2011.
Production began in 2002. A reading took place on 10 August 2007, with Stephen Kramer Glickman as Shrek, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad and Robert L. Daye, Jr. as Donkey. After much development, the show made it's world premiere at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, running from 14 August to 21 September, 2008. Brian d'Arcy James took the lead role, with Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Sieber as Lord Farquaad, Chester Gregory as Donkey, John Tartaglia as Pinocchio and Kecia Lewis-Evans as the dragon. The premiere production was directed by Jason Moore, and featured music by Jeanine Tesori, a book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, and choreography by Josh Prince.
Broadway, New York (2008-10)
The show then set up swamp at the Broadway Theatre, with many songs and scenes re-written and changed from Seattle. At the time, it was the most expensive Broadway musical ever produced. Previews began on 8 November 2008, with an opening night of 14 December. Most of the Seattle cast remained although Gregory was replaced by Daniel Breaker in the role of Donkey, and the dragon became voiced entirely by the chorus, leaving Lewis-Evans retired. On 2 October 2009, "I'm a Believer" was added to the score and was sung at curtain call. After failing to wow the critics, the show played its final performance on 3 January 2010, after 37 preview and 441 regular performances.
US National Tour (2010-11)
Following the closure of the Broadway production, an all-new and improved show began a tour of North America, beginning at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago on 13 July 2010. Opening night took place on 25 July. Among the changes included a newly re-designed dragon (the role also returned to being voiced by one actress). A new song was also created for the dragon to sing, titled "Forever", which replaced "Donkey Pot Pie" from Broadway. The tour ended 31 July 2011 in Los Angeles.
London's West End, UK (2011-Present)
The UK premiere production in London's West End began previews at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 6 May 2011. Opening night took place on 14 June. The original cast was headlined by Nigel Lindsay as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey, Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad and Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona. Due to pregnancy, Holden was replaced by UK pop star Kimberley Walsh in October 2011. The show was well received by critics upon its opening night, unlike its New York counterpart production.
Non-Equity Tour (2011-12)
A second tour of North America, produced by NETworks and featuring a Non-Equity cast, launched September 9, 2011, at the Capitol Theatre in Yakima, Washington. The tour official opened in Portland, Oregon on September 13. Changes made for the London production, including the new opening, will be incorporated into the tour. The NETworks tour runs through April 29, 2012, with the final show in Springfield, Missouri.
There have been various international productions which are all non-replica's of the Broadway or West End staging. Countries staging the musical are Israel (2010), Gdynia, Poland (2011-Present), Madrid, Spain (2011-Present), Paris, France (2012), Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012), Italy (2012) and the Netherlands (2012). A replica production is set to be staged in Australia by 2012.