Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of BD -The original cast production preserved - for generations to come. Great score too!, October 23, 2013
This review is from: Shrek the Musical (Blu-ray / DVD + DigitalHD) (Blu-ray)
When Dreamworks first released the original CGI film, SHREK, it gave Disney's animation studio a run for their money. It even poked fun at Disney characters. It took the position that adults could enjoy some double-entendre humor while the kids would love the graphics. SHREK spawned two sequels too! Then Dreamworks decided (like Disney with "Beauty and the Beast" to conquer Broadway by creating - and producing - a musical version of the film. The 2009 show got nine Tony noms (no wins) and played successfully in NY. A whopping 17 songs (in a two-hour show) were composed by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori to keep the show going. The music is - in my opinion - a combination of Alan Menken's score for "Little Shop of Horrors" and Marc Shaiman's for "Hairspray". A lot of fun.

So, with Dreamworks being a FILM company, they decided to film a live performance with the ORIGINAL Broadway Cast (before they left the company). And that resulted in this 2012 production, just out on DVD and BD.

There are already quite a few reviews here - and you probably already know the basic story line - so I won't repeat much of what has been written but will "fill in" some more info.

First, I agree with others in that I'm thankful that an ORIGINAL CAST production has been captured and preserved for generations to come. Very few, if any, such productions have been made for the general public to see. You don't need to travel to New York, or even spent $50-$70 for a ticket for a touring production, to enjoy the show. And you'd never be this close. The Director of the filmed production has a tough job deciding when to show the whole stage and when to use close-ups and director Michael Warren did a pretty good job with his 10 cameras. And the makeup is so good that it doesn't even look like makeup on the close shots.

Someone questioned the "off color" humor and I will alert you that there is a musical number based on flatulence but it's done lightly and is the kind of humor that kids find "silly". There are no expletives in the dialogue.
Another reviewer said there was not a curtain call. There certainly is. First we are given the one non-original song. It's the curtain call number: The Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer". And then the major cast members are identified as they take their bows.

The bonuses on the DVD and BD are slightly different. Both have a really nice feature called "Shrek: The Musical Songbook" which allows you to replay seven of the musical numbers with a further option of having the lyrics on the screen to sing along. The BD is in High Def as well as having one extra bonus: "From Swamp to Stage" - a brief 8 minute featurette (introduced by Cameron Diaz - from the animated version) with comments from the composers. There is also a set of promos for other Dreamworks Animation films.

Considering the price of a Broadway show ticket and the fact that this cast will never be together again, this DVD BD is a bargain and a must for Broadway cast lovers. A solid FIVE stars from me.

Let's hope more producing companies give us opportunities like Dreamworks is.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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