Everyone's favorite ogre, plus his pals and foes, will take the stage at Coleytown Middle School April 3 to 5 for four performances of "Shrek the Musical."
Eighty-eight Coleytown students, including 68 cast members and 20 crew members, will stage the musical, which opened on Broadway in 2008 and is based on Dreamworks' blockbuster 2001 animated film, "Shrek."
Three evening performances are scheduled, plus a Saturday matinee.
Adam Riegler, who played Young Shrek on Broadway, has served as an assistant director for the middle school production and has brought professional insights to the cast and crew.
The fairytale is about Shrek's adventure with his chatterbox sidekick Donkey, as they set out to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona and save her from marrying the menacing (and miniature) Lord Farquaad.
The cast has an array of misfits who overrun Shrek's swampland when Farquaad exiles them from Duloc. On Shrek's quest to free Fiona, the reclusive ogre encounters a fierce dragon and learns the meaning of friendship and love and that beauty is measured not by outward appearance, but by what's inside.
Among the show's popular songs are "I Know It's Today," "I Think I Got You Beat," "This Is Our Story" and "Who'd I Be."
Before the show opened on Broadway, Riegler was part of its premier cast in Seattle, and he brings unique perspective to the Coleytown production, show organizers said in a news release. He also has film and TV credits.
Benjamin Frimmer, the Coleytown show's director, credits the young Broadway veteran with helping the middle school actors explore their characters. "Adam is a fabulous young man who has had some amazing life experience," he said in the news release.
Riegler said he's had the middle school actors try different approaches to their characters.
"I've seen a lot of different versions (of the show), so I know what we can try out," he said in the release.
Martin Menz, the seventh-grader who plays the role of Shrek, said the cast sees Riegler as a role model.
"Having Adam is inspiring because what he did is a dream of many students," he said.
`SHREK' ON DECK
What: Coleytown Middle School production of "Shrek the Musical."
When: Thursday, April 3, at 7 p.m.; Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 5, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Coleytown Middle School Auditorium, 255 North Ave.
Tickets: $12, plus processing fee, at www.showtix4u.com (search term "Westport." Also at the door, if available, 45 minutes before curtain.