South County Christian Youth Theater will present “Shrek the Musical” March 7-9 and 14-16 at the Mater Dei Catholic High School theater.
The hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre comes to dazzling new life on the stage for the first time in Chula Vista. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, the CYT production is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone.
“Shrek the Musical” is about a faraway kingdom turned upside down and follows the adventures of a swamp-dwelling ogre, Shrek, and the lovably annoying Donkey as they rescue the spirited Princess Fiona. Throw in a villain with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and more than a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand ... and his name is Shrek.
More than 90 local youth make up this talented cast of actors, singers, dancers and tech crew who will have audiences tapping their toes and moving to the music long after the silliness ends.
The production makes its CYT debut under the direction of director/choreographers Bethany Slomka and Bobby Albright, music director Janie d’Avignon and assistant choreographer Jazmine Ruiz.
The musical is full of memorable songs, great dancing and breathtaking costumes and scenery.
One hundred youths auditioned for the show, with 69 receiving roles. There are 23 working in the technical crew.
The upcoming production is a brand new show for CYT, so the company has had to do everything from scratch. Parents and volunteers have helped build new sets, costumes and develop makeup.
In the spotlight
The role of Shrek is played by Joshua Powers, 17, of Lutheran High School. Alyssa Twombly, 18, from San Pasqual High School, plays the feisty Princess Fiona. Loren Fernandez, 18, now at San Diego State University, portrays Donkey while Liam Galleher, 13, of Hilltop Middle School, plays the vertically challenged villain Lord Farquaad.
Rounding out the cast of misfit fairy tale characters are Evan Adam, 11, of Tiffany Elementary, as Pinocchio; Amy Wawryznski, 17, of San Diego SCPA, as Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy; Cameron Nicks, 10, of Camarena Elementary, as Young Shrek; Sofia Gurrola, 9, of St. Theresa Academy, as Young Fiona; Vanessa Orozco, 15, of Otay Ranch High School, as Teen Fiona; Jeremiah Deinla, 18, of San Diego State University, as Papa Ogre; Ariella Kvashny, 14, of Olympian High School, as Mama Ogre. J.D. Gonzales, 18, of Calvary Christian Academy, plays the Big Bad Wolf while the Three Little Pigs are played by Annie Holley, 11, of Coronado Elementary; Emma Holley, 13, of Coronado Middle; and Sofia Gurrola, 9, of St. Theresa Academy.
Also in the cast are Emilie Powers, 12, of Pilgrim Lutheran School, as White Rabbit; Deinla as Papa Bear; Kvashny as Mama Bear; Madelin Chavez, 16, of Otay Ranch High School, as Baby Bear; Megan Weilersbacher, 17, of Hilltop High School, as Fairy Godmother; T.J. Kendrick, 14, of San Diego Virtual School, as Peter Pan; Claire Trickey, 15, of Eastlake High, as Wicked Witch; Julia Collins, 18, of West Hills, as Ugly Duckling; Kevin Davison, 13, of Horizon Christian Academy, as Elf and the Pied Piper; and Becca Jones, 15, of High Tech High, as Dwarf.
The Three Blind Mice are played by Amber Ki, 17, of Del Norte High School; Nicole Isabelle, 14, of Olympian High; and Tierra Gonzalez, 17, of Mission Bay High School. Genesis Barbosa-Padilla, 17, Calvary Christian Academy, portrays Humpty Dumpty. Nicolas Payton, 16, of Chula Vista High School, is the Mad Hatter while Monique Geisen, 18, of Olympian High, is Mother Goose.
The cast also includes Brittany Weilersbacher, 13, of Pilgrim Lutheran School, as Ogress (Fiona’s Double) and Izaac Picazo, 17, of Hilltop High School, as Captain of the Guards.
The cast has had eight weekends of rehearsals to put the show together. Transitions in this show are quick. Papa and Mama Ogre will have to be made into Papa and Mama Bear in less than four minutes.
Performance times are 7 p.m. on March 7, 8, 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. on March 8, 9, 15 and 16. Ticket prices are $15 ($18 at the door).
Performing Arts Calendar
MACBETH: The Otay Ranch High School theater department will present this classic Shakespearean tragedy March 7-8 and 14-15 at the campus theater. Presale tickets are $5, $7 at the door. There is a 7 p.m. curtain for each performance.
ONSTAGE PLAYHOUSE: Chula Vista’s community theater company will present Jim Cartwright’s “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice” March 21 to April 12. This is an engaging fairy tale of despair, love and finally hope.