On the weekends of Oct. 21 and Oct. 28, the Music Theatre of Denton will present “Shrek: The Musical” at Campus Theatre on Hickory St. The Lasso got to know the cast behind the major characters, Paul Iwanicki, playing Shrek; Sara Kennedy, playing Fiona; Anthony Ortega, playing Donkey; and John Tillman, playing Lord Farquaad.
What is one of your favorite scenes to rehearse?
Iwanicki (Shrek): “The end of act 1! The song is called “Who I Would Be.” It’s basically where you break down Shrek, and you find out he’s not really that tough – he really is just a big ‘ole sweetheart underneath.”
Kennedy (Fiona): “One of my favorite scenes to do is ‘Morning Person.’ We do a lot of tapping with the singing and dancing – what more could you want in a musical? It’s one of my favorites because out of nowhere everyone starts tapping.”
Ortega (Donkey): “My favorite scene is with Shrek and Donkey. They are in the dragon’s cave and it smells bad. Donkey thinks it’s Shrek and he gives him a lot of sass and attitude.”
What has been one of the most challenging aspects about playing your character?
Iwanicki (Shrek): “The accent is hard. You know, it wont be Mike Meyers or Brian D’Arcey James for that matter, but it will be there. That will probably be the number one thing, until I have to put on the makeup and prosthetics – that’s a whole other ball of wax to deal with.”
Kennedy (Fiona): “A big challenge is coming into it with a fresh mind because you have the story of ‘Shrek’ and the story of Fiona. Trying to come in and make it my own instead of having a carbon copy from the musical or the movie and bringing my own flare to it.”
Tillman (Lord Farquaad): “The allusion that I’m playing this really short fella, when I’m over six feet tall is a little difficult. The audience is in on the joke the whole time, so it’s fun to play with that.”
Ortega (Donkey): “It is really hard to play a character everyone knows so well and to not be an exact replica. I want people to know that yes, that is Donkey, but I don’t want to be a copy cat.”
What has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing your character?
Kennedy (Fiona): “With Fiona, I’m not really acting on stage – I relate with her mannerisms and how ‘ogerish’ she is. The cast is phenomenal and it is so fun to work with them.”
Tillman (Lord Farquaad): “I love the story about being yourself and accepting others with their differences.”
Donkey: “I get to run around and just have fun and be silly on stage!”