Nov. 17: 'Shrek: The Musical' arrives at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

November 15, 2012 

  • IF YOU GO

    What: "Shrek: The Musical," a production from DreamWorks Theatricals and NETworks Presentations, LLC.

    When: 8 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Bill Heard Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

    Cost: Tickets cost $39.50-$49.50.

    Information: rivercenter.org and 706-256-3612

Travel with the lovably grumpy swamp-dwelling ogre from "Shrek" as he wins back the deed to his home, battles a dragon, rescues a princess and falls in love Saturday when "Shrek: The Musical" arrives at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The DreamWorks Theatricals production is based on the popular DreamWorks movie and William Steig's book.

Perry Sook plays the iconic Shrek.

"Shrek's a superstar. It's a lot of responsibility, trying to stick to that character that everyone knows while making it new and fun," he said.

He's glad the musical stays very close to the first movie's story line.

"I hate in a remake when some of the characters you love are gone," he said.

Princess Fiona, played by Whitney Winfield; Donkey, played by Jeremy Gaston; and Lord Farquaad, played by Christian Marriner, also star in the show.

Sook has seen all the "Shrek" movies and thinks the musical adds something special to the story.

"It gains a level of realism on stage. The characters become full, fleshed-out, complex people," Sook said.

Much like the films, the show is designed to be enjoyed by children and parents.

"Adults will like it and laugh but there's kiddie humor, too. "It's very similar in its humor (to the movies) but there are a lot more jokes.

"There are moments of adult humor that will go over kids' head," he said.

The show's tour started Oct. 5 and continues through April 7. The audience is key to keeping each show fresh, Sook said.

"With a new crowd every night the energy is just there. It's a natural and free-flowing thing. From the second the show starts… there's clapping, hooting and hollering," he said.

Doesn't that get annoying?

"No, not with this type of show… Our energy really depends on their energy," he said.

It helps, too, that the cast and crew get a long so well.

"It's rare to get along with everyone so well. I would hang out with any of them even if we weren't touring," he said.

He's pleased he's had time to explore some of the cities the group has visited on tour.

"We opened in Anchorage, Alaska, and saw the Northern Lights. It was absolutely beautiful," he said.

When Sook's not on tour he's studying musical theater at the University of Oklahoma and cheering on the Cowboys NFL team.

His mom is his biggest fan. She's already seen "Shrek" four times and plans to see it another six.

It's thanks to his mom that he caught the acting bug. He was 4 years old when his mom was directing a community theater production of "The Sound of Music."

The girl playing Gretel became ill and had to drop out of the show. Since Sook had been to all the rehearsals, the character got a name change, becoming Hansel, and Sook got the part.

Acting runs in his family. His sister, Victoria Sook, is an actress in New York and has appeared on popular TV shows "Smash," "The Big C" and "Gossip Girl."

When not touring, Sook sings with his band Sights Unscene. He considers the Beatles the greatest band that has ever played.

He lives by the motto: "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." -- Confucius.

"Most people are lucky to get a pat on the back when they leave work at the end of the day. I get a standing ovation," he said. "The show is so rewarding and the craft is so rewarding that it's just a great way of life. … If I didn't have to pay bills I'd do it for free."

At age 21, Sook is looking forward to gaining experience in a variety of theater productions but he knows what his dream roles are.

"I'm a bit young now. But eventually, one day, Gervais in 'Les Misérables' and Phantom from 'Phantom of the Opera.'"

Right now the 21-year-old considers himself lucky to be playing Shrek in a popular show.

"It is everything everyone loved in the movie but it's so much more. It's definitely worth seeing."

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