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Shrek
The Musical

July 13

September 1, 2013

in CST's Courtyard Theater

book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
music by Jeanine Tesori
directed and choreographed
by Rachel Rockwell

Critical Acclaim


“HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Director-choreographer Rachel Rockwell’s Chicago Shakespeare Theatre production of “Shrek The Musical” is so good—so packed with A-list talent, visual delights and hip wit, and so expertly trimmed to 75 minutes of perfectly propelled storytelling—that adults who initially arrive with kids in tow for this ‘family entertainment’ might well be tempted to return for a second time by themselves.”


“Shorter 'Shrek' is still long on talent…for a reasonable cost, one gets a mostly Equity cast (Michael Aaron Lindner, the fine Chicago actor playing Shrek, spent many months on the road playing one of the dads in ‘Mamma Mia!’; and Summer Naomi Smart, who plays Fiona, is one of Chicago's busiest musical talents), a big-scale production, live musicians and Chicago Shakespeare's typically elegant theatergoing experience. Kids around me were having a great time.”


     A terrific cast and crack design team. Michael Aaron Lindner's titular ogre hides his glumness behind a booming voice, and James Earl Jones II and Travis Taylor squeeze every drop of comic juice out of their roles as Donkey and Lord Farquaad, respectively. Theresa Ham's delightful costumes and Melissa Veal's clever wig and make-up design smartly reimagine the fairy-tale characters' looks, while Rockwell's inventive choreography is nicely executed by the entire cast (including some frighteningly talented kid actors).” –Time Out Chicago

“It’s a full-blown, gorgeously designed production, done with an abundance of inside jokes to keep the adults as entertained as the kids.  The excellent ensemble handles their character roles with skill and dances the heck out of director-choreographer Rachel Rockwell’s clever moves.” –Chicago Theater Beat


The atypical ogre-gets-the-girl love story makes the perfect kid theatrical outing. Shrek The Musical gives us what we crave... a happy ending!  This production makes me want Chicago Shakes to produce their versions of Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After.


In only a few seasons, Chicago Shakespeare has carved out an impressive niche as a producer of major musical revivals. Rachel Rockwell’s “Shrek” is a very funny and inexpensive (only $18-$25) afternoon for a family, not to mention a delightful production. And the kids won’t be the only ones giggling. Wonderfully smart and silly entertainment!


A powerful belter with spot-on comedic chops, Summer Naomi Smart is a true triple threat. She brings a genuineness and spunky sense of humor to Fiona, and it’s clear why she’s such a good match for the wounded Shrek, who Michael Aaron Lindner plays with a gruff lovability. With a knockout cast and easy laughs, we’re reminded that sometimes all we need is some simple joy.


“The best advice I can give is simply – GO – get yourself to Chicago Shakespeare Theater and see Shrek The Musical. I was laughing… I was teary… I was in awe… I was smiling… through the entire performance.  Everyone around me loved the show!” –Tiaras and Tantrums

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