Carter Sano remembers watching the “Shrek” movie with his little sister when they were young.
Now the high school senior will be taking on the role of the swamp-dwelling ogre in Queensbury High School’s production of “Shrek The Musical.” And his sister, Delaney, will be on stage with him playing Gingy.
“When we were little we would just watch “Shrek” on Netflix over and over again, and so I really do enjoy the show,” Carter said. “When it was one of the contenders to be our show, this was the one that I was really hoping for.”
The Queensbury High School Drama Club will present “Shrek The Musical” at 7 p.m. March 10 and 11 and at 2 p.m. March 12 at the Queensbury High School auditorium. Tickets are available at www.showtix4u.com for $12. Streaming tickets are also available for the March 11 show for $25.
The musical is based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation film “Shrek,” as well as elements of its sequels and William Steig’s 1990 book also titled “Shrek!”
It’s the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess, who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and a dozen fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero.
“It is the story of an ogre who is misunderstood, and he is sent on a quest to find Princess Fiona, and what he doesn’t realize is that on the outside Fiona’s one person, but on the inside she’s more like him than he knows,” said director Andy Terry. “You see the trials and the tribulations that the two go through with a little singing and dancing by Donkey. It’s pretty much like the movie for the most part with more songs and more dancing.”
The show comprises about 30 student actors, with 10 students on stage crew and another 20 students working on set design with the new production team of Sean and Amanda Magee. Actors have spent time building and painting the elaborate sets.
“It’s a cooler way of getting everybody involved in what theater is,” said musical director Matthew Gaulin. “Now they get to see how the set is put together. They get to see how the lighting’s going to work. So I think it’s more inclusive this year and allows everybody to have a stake in every part of the show.”
Six student musicians are playing in the pit with the live orchestra, a tradition since 1979.
“The reason why we chose to do this show is because we have a lot of talented kids, and there’s a lot of different roles in this show,” Terry said. “I think we pretty much highlighted almost every single kid that’s on that stage.”
Senior Kendra Jones has taken over the choreography reins this year from Terry’s wife.
“There’s a lot of dance, and Kendra Jones stepped up and asked if she could help choreograph everything,” Terry said. “And it kind of worked out because my wife is pregnant and can’t move. Kendra just took the bull by the horns, and everything you see up here is Kendra.”
The cast is enjoying the young-adult humor of the show, said senior Maddie Gaiser, who plays Fiona.
“It’s a show that’s easy for your whole family to come and see, if you have kids,” Maddie said. “There are jokes in it that are more mature, but your kids won’t even understand and they’ll laugh anyway. And they’ll get to see characters that they already know.”
Carter encourages everyone to attend one of the three shows.
“If you’re going to this school and you’re friends with me, why would you not want to see me painted green in a fat suit making a fool out of myself?” he laughed. “It’s a really fun show. This one just has so much good music. It has good choreo. It has great lines. Then it has all these different little tiny pieces of the show that are super entertaining.”
Avery Magee, a junior, said the cast has enjoyed the over-the-top acting of the show and the sarcastic one-liners.
“We’re all just making fools of ourselves,” said Avery, who plays Shrek’s sidekick Donkey. “Carter’s going to walk around with a bald cap and a fat suit. We’re just making ourselves look funny.”
Audiences could see the show multiple times and pick up on jokes they didn’t notice the first time, Maddie said.
“The energy that radiates from this show is like goofy, funny, happy moods,” she said, “and you’ll leave feeling goofy, funny and happy the rest of the day.”