Review: Shrek at the Woodland Opera House

Showtimes: Fri 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Through 8/26; $12-$25; Woodland Opera House, 340 2nd Street in Woodland; (530) 666-9617;
Rated 5.0

There is a lot of fun going on at the Woodland Opera House. The current production of Shrek, directed and choreographed by Andrea St. Clair with musical direction by Lori Jarvey, is a delight from start to finish.

Based on the playwrighting and lyrics of David Lindsay-Abaire with music by Jeanine Tesori, this is the story of a hideous ogre tasked by an evil prince to kidnap a beautiful, cursed princess from the tower in which she has been imprisoned for her entire life.

Newcomer James Morgan is a bit too handsome to be a hideous ogre, but his acting is unquestionable. His voice fills the opera house wonderfully. Woodland regular Jori Gonzales may have her best role ever as Princess Fiona. Her singing is glorious, and she has wonderful numbers—especially a memorable dance with a stage full of mice.

Ryan Kevin-Patrick Allen, another newcomer, adds some fun as the reluctant Shrek’s BFF. He is as much fun as the role’s original Donkey, played in the movie version by Eddie Murphy.

Erik Catalin is half his normal height as the diminutive, evil Lord Farquaad, but he is in top form. On his knees, he gives his patellas a great workout, particularly in “What’s Up Duloc,” a colorful dance number with the Duloc dancers.

With nearly every fairy tale character you’ve ever known for the kids, enough double entendres for the adults and a fabulous dragon for everyone, this is a joyous production for the whole family.