PANAMA CITY— New generations will fall in love with a green ogre when “Shrek” comes to the Marina Civic Center stage Nov. 18 in the popular Broadway show.
“I think everyone identifies with Shrek,” said Perry Sook, who plays the title character in “Shrek, The Musical.” “There’s always a time in life when someone expects something of you and you have to prove who you really are.”
“Shrek, The Musical,” is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book “Shrek!,” as well as the DreamWorks Animation film “Shrek,” the first chapter of the movie series.
“What’s great about the musical is it’s not a live version of the show, but its own entity, an enhanced version of the movie,” Sook said. “It’s everything everyone loves about the movie with more depth.”
For each performance, Sook spends an hour and 15 minutes getting into makeup, which includes facial prep and cleansing, as well as the addition of DermaShield to protect his skin, and four prosthetic pieces — forehead, nose, chin and cheek.
“And then they all get painted,” Sook said. “It’s not an exact science; it’s definitely an art.”
His “Shreckles” (Shrek freckles) are put on using an airbrush technique. He then gets a 10-minute break to stretch before he is suited up in full costume.
“And two hours later, you’re Shrek,” he said. “From head to toe, you’re covered except for the eyes and mouth and those are covered with latex paint.”
As soon as he got the part, he upped his cardiovascular routine, made sure he was eating right — drinking water as soon as he wakes up — and started working on his “Mike Myers dialect.”
“It’s a very demanding job. I played football for 13 years and my hardest day of football is just as hard as this show,” Sook said.
He tries to bring the human side to the ogre as well, who often is “just a guy,” one who gets his heart broken by Princess Fiona, played by Whitney Winfield. Jeremy Gastonis Shrek’s best friend Donkey, and Christian Marrinerplays villain Lord Farquaad.
Generations can come together for the Sunday night performance before the musical continues its tour with stops in Niceville and Pensacola the following nights.
“It’s for folks of all ages, even grandparents, parents and teenagers,” said Dr. Carolyn Wilson, president of the Panama City Music Association.“My granddaughter’s been a fan of ‘Shrek.’ The thing I think about is the Incredible Hulk was my daughter’s big green monster and there is not a thing scary about ‘Shrek.’ ”
“Shrek, the Musical,”directed by Stephen Sposito, features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire, music by Olivier Award-winner Jeanine Tesori, as well as sets and costumes based on the Tony Award winner designs by Tim Hatley.
“We try to vary the program we bring in, and we very often coordinate with other people in this part of the country,” said Joanne Cox, past PCMA president and talent chair. “This one kind of went across the board, and I had seen it on Broadway and thought, ‘this is a fun show.’ I remember the thing that impressed me a lot was the wonderful scenery, costuming, everything was pretty and interesting to look at.
“It’s got a lot of adult undercurrents in it. Sometimes the jokes on fairy tale characters might pass over very small children, they might not get the joke but they would get the character, costume. It’s always kind of a play of fairy tale characters … lots of movements, lots of dancing, lots of singing, interesting dialogue.”
“Shrek” opens the Panama City Music Association’s 71st season, which also will include “Three Mo’ Tenors,” “La Traviata” and “Bowfire.”
“It’s typical of the sort of the musical quality we present each season. Our emphasis over the years has been on the classical musical forms, but with a blend of the popular,” said Bob Borich, talent chair for the Panama City Music Association. “We are really proud of this blend of musical cultural vitality we bring to this community.”
‘SHREK, THE MUSICAL’
What: Broadway musical theater production
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18
Where: Panama City Marina Civic Center
Tickets: (850) 769-1217
Details: PanamaCityMusicAssoc.org, (850) 236-1260 or ShrekTheMusicalOnTour.com
PCMA 2013 SEASON
Nov. 18: ‘Shrek, the Musical’
Jan. 24: ‘Three Mo’ Tenors’
Feb. 24: ‘La Traviata’
March 6: ‘Bowfire’
All performances are at the Marina Civic Center and start 7:30 p.m., except ‘La Traviata,’ which is a 4 p.m. matinee. For season subscriptions, call (850) 236-1260; call the Marina Civic Center box office at (850) 769-1217 for single performance tickets.