The idea was born on Netflix. As the members of Springfield College’s Best of Broadway club learned that their original plan, to perform Annie, would not work, they faced a conundrum. What to perform?
It needed to be family friendly and humorous. It needed to be a musical. Sure there are plenty of options, but determining which one was the right one wouldn’t be easy. Then Netflix came along.
One of the cast members sat watching Shrek on Netflix when an idea was born. Why not perform Shrek?
Family friendly? Check. Musical? Check. Funny? Check.
It fit the boxes and it fit the cast, and without much second thought Shrek became the 2016 spring performance for the Best of Broadway club. The performance, beginning Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. and going until Saturday at 7 p.m., will be taking place in Fuller Auditorium, costing $3 admittance for students and $5 for non-students.
“It’s come together really well,” Kyle Andolina, the club’s vice president, who is playing Lord Farquaad. ”It’s come a long way, going to be a great show. Our lead, Charitie (Bruning) is Shrek. She sings amazingly. She has a great Shrek accent. It’s coming along really nicely.”
The musical will begin with Shrek as a little ogre, working its way up and through Shrek 1. While Bruning will be playing a full grown Shrek, the club was able to recruit the services of Samantha Swider, the niece of Kim Saltsman, one of the members of the club.
“(The 6 year old) has a few lines, but she’s really good,” Andolina said. “She’s in a few dances and she knows all the moves. She has one part where she has to call me a freak and I have a hissy fit about it. It’s really hard to keep a straight face when this adorable six-year-old is calling you a freak.”
As much as the cast has enjoyed Samantha’s presence, the young performer is leaving a lasting impression.
“She’s been to two rehearsals,” said Andolina. “When she goes home, she practices all her lines, and she tells everyone it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her.”
The production of the show began the first Sunday following winter break with a 10-hour rehearsal, and will wrap up with rehearsals throughout the week. Although they haven’t had as much time as most productions get – seven weeks – three rehearsals a week and long hours have certainly paid off.
“It’s a really short time to put a show together,” said Andolina. “We always try to keep it family friendly. Our goal is to put on a good show, make people laugh, and have them enjoy theatre.”