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'Shrek the Musical' coming to Connellsville Area High School stage

Linda Harkcom \ For the Daily Courier
The Connellsville Area High School musical team celebrate Director/Producer Henry Molinaro's announcement on Thursday that he has chosen “Shrek The Musical” for the school’s spring production. From left are (front row) choreographer Deborah Luczka, Molinaro and Lauren Hamilton; (second row) costume designer Carol Kirk,technical director Andrew Miller and assistant technical director John Hamman.

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Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 7:39 p.m.

Connellsville Area High School Musical Director/Producer Henry Molinaro announced on Thursday he has chosen “Shrek The Musical” for the school's spring production.

Always one of the leaders in the local high school musical scene, the school will take that one step further with this show, being the first high school in Western Pennsylvania to announce it will be performing the newly released show.

“It's the newest show and it's an exciting show, and we have the kids that can pull the show off,” Molinaro said.

“Shrek The Musical” is a combination of a love story and a twisted fairy tale. It's based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film in which a faraway kingdom is turned upside down by an evil lord, which leads to an ugly ogre and his unwanted new friend Donkey on a quest to rescue a feisty princess.

Molinaro said his family has all of the “Shrek” movies, and he has watched them all with his children and enjoyed them.

“I think it will appeal to everyone, adults and children alike,” he said. “I do think this is one of those shows that is magical and brings everyone back to their childhood.”

Molinaro thinks the audience will like the fairy tale creatures and the special effects.

The show has a large number of fairy tale characters, which allows for a large cast.

Costume designer Carol Kirk said the school musical team never rents costumes for their productions. In order to costume such as large cast, she said she has already started going through costumes from past shows to see what could be reused.

“We can even add characters such as Dorothy and the Wicked Witch from the ‘Wizard of Oz.' That way, every student can have a named character,” Kirk said.

Choreographer Deborah Luczka said because of the variety of fairy tale creatures, the dance in the show can be very animated and students will dance in the style of their characters.

Technical director Andrew Miller said the special effects and other technical aspects will be a real challenge. He said that the Broadway show had a rotating stage that also moved up and down. Space and other limitations will not permit for such a set on the school's stage.

He said the lighting for the show is very extensive.

“So we have to find other ways to make those things happen,” Miller said. “Technologically, it's just going to be extremely challenging.”

Assistant technical director John Hamman said the school has very high standards on all aspects of the show.

“It's really going to be challenging to get to the standards we go to,” he said.

Auditions are tentatively set for Dec. 3-6. Molinaro said the cast will be announced before the holiday break.

Senior Sarah Hamman of Connellsville said she was extremely excited to hear the school was doing the show.

“It's one of my favorite shows, and I think Connellsville is going to love it,” she said.

Tickets will go on sale for the March 6-9 show in early February. Molinaro said he expects to fill the new 1,350 seat auditorium that opened last year.

Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.

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