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'Shrek' is not your typical fairytale

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 1:06 a.m.
Carly Nicomatatti is Princess Fiona, Logan Smith is Shrek and Travis Jenkins is Donkey in 'Shrek the Musical.'
Norma Kutscher | Daily News
Carly Nicomatatti is Princess Fiona, Logan Smith is Shrek and Travis Jenkins is Donkey in 'Shrek the Musical.'
Putting the finishing touches on McKeesport Little Theater's 2nd Stage Players production of 'Shrek the Musical,' from left, are Carly Nicomatatti as Princess Fiona, Travis Jenkins as Donkey, Logan Smith as Shrek, and Joey Young as Farquaad.
Norma Kutscher | Daily News
Putting the finishing touches on McKeesport Little Theater's 2nd Stage Players production of 'Shrek the Musical,' from left, are Carly Nicomatatti as Princess Fiona, Travis Jenkins as Donkey, Logan Smith as Shrek, and Joey Young as Farquaad.

With recent frigid temperatures forcing folks to stay inside, it's a perfect weekend to go to the theater for a show that should warm your heart.

McKeesport Little Theater's 2nd Stage Players will present “Shrek The Musical,” Friday through Sunday and Jan. 17-19 at the Coursin Street theater.

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks movie, “Shrek The Musical” takes place in a topsy-turvy faraway kingdom. It begins like a typical fairy tale — a princess is being held captive in a tower and needs to be rescued. But that's where “typical” ends and the fun begins.

An ogre is charged with the task, but the princess turns out to be quite a handful. There's a very talkative donkey, a short-tempered villain, a cookie with an attitude and other unlikely characters.

“This is a difficult show to do,” director Dorothy Fallows said. “But it's a great show to do. It's been a lot of fun.”

She said about a third of the cast members are making their acting debuts. There are three parents making their first-ever stage appearance acting, singing and dancing. “It's nice to see the kids doing this with their parents,” Fallows said. “They are all having a good time together and that's important.

“When they did the show in front of their parents Wednesday night, they did not seem to be nervous at all. I think they really wanted to do it in front of an audience. I think the reason they weren't nervous was because they know what they are doing.”

Despite several canceled practices because of snow and cold temperatures, the director said she is pleased with how well the young performers have done.

“Our lead people are unbelievable and everyone is having so much fun and everyone gets along really well,” she said. “This has really been great.”

Fallows said she hopes people leave the theater with a sense that they can do what they really want to do.

“Shrek thinks he can't have anything because he is a green ogre, but he realizes that isn't true,” she said. “The princess realizes it doesn't matter if you're pretty or green to be who you want to be. It's a fun show with a good message.”

Cast members are Ana Brandt, Brian Butko, Brianna Williams, Bryana Zanotelli, Carley Nicomatti, Carly Chandler, Cory Bulger, Delaney Bulger, Derek Jenkins, Gillian Holiday, Issac Richardson, Jeff Veltre, Jessica Lloyd, Jessice Freuden, Joey Young, Julia Lodge, Kenna Jeffries, Kyle Jenkins, Logan Smith, Lydia Richardson, Mandi Davis, Maria Veltre, Natalie Butko, Olivia Dempsey, Paula Brandt, Riley Bulger, Sadie Mitchell, Shannon Bocan, Sierra Mitchell, Terri Davis, Travis Jenkins, Victoria Perl, Sam Richardson, and Trace Boccan.

Producer is Jan Gerber, music director is Lisa Harrier and choreographer is Samantha Mitchell.

For an added treat, theater-goers have a chance to enjoy Lunch with Shrek on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $6; admission to the show is extra.

Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1916, or cfrazier@tribweb.com.

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