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Something big, green to hit CLO stage

| Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Benjamin Howes will play Lord Farquaad in Pittsburgh CLO's 'Shrek the Musical.'
Paul Lyden
Benjamin Howes will play Lord Farquaad in Pittsburgh CLO's 'Shrek the Musical.'

Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera offers a new spin on the traditional storybook characters with its production of “Shrek the Musical,” which opens July 15 at the Benedum Center, Downtown.

Already popular with adults and children who know it as an Oscar-winning animated film and Tony-winning Broadway musical, “Shrek” upends expectations with a fairytale romance about a gentle, heroic ogre, a villainous prince and a gutsy princess who's not sure she needs rescuing.

Rory Donovan, fresh from playing Captain Hook in the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland,” will play Shrek, the green ogre with a heart of gold.

Haven Burton will appear as Princess Fiona, the role she understudied in the Broadway production.

Benjamin Howes, recently seen as Welch in the CLO production of “Damn Yankees” and Professor Higgins in the Pittsburgh Public Theater production of “My Fair Lady,” will appear as the devious Lord Farquaad.

They will be supported by a cast of CLO regulars and newcomers who include Lilly Kwiecinski and Lexi Patterson as Young Shrek and Young Fiona and ensemble members Christopher Campbell, Ryan Cavanaugh, Michael Greer, Myha'la Herrold, Justin Lonesome, Evan Ruggiero, JJ Niemann, Taylor Warren, Ixchel Cuellar, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Stephanie Mahoney, Mara Newberry, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe and Kate Margalite.

Performances run through July 24 at 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. July 17. Admission is $25.75 to $80.75 and half-price for ages 3 to 14.

Details: 412-456-6666 or

Alice T. Carter is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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