Producers of the stage adaptation of Shrek were having a hard time casting the lead of Disney’s hit movie these past few months, struggling to find a stage actor who was jovially plump, attractive and had the comedy chops to stand up to Mike Meyers’ original performance. They’ve finally found their leading ogre: Brian d’Arcy James, the singing actor who was recently seen in the Off-Broadway musical Next to Normal, has landed the title role of the green ogre in Shrek the Musical, which will bound its way into the Broadway Theatre Nov. 8, according to Playbill. Who will play his partner in crime, Donkey?
Joining James will be Cry-Baby‘s Chester Gregory II as Donkey and Avenue Q Tony nominee John Tartaglia as Pinocchio. The threesome join the previously announced Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Young Frankenstein) as princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber (Monty Python’s Spamalot) as Lord Farquaad and Kecia Lewis-Evans (The Drowsy Chaperone) as the dragon.
The musical based on the DreamWorks Animation film will officially open Dec. 14, making family audiences happy for the holidays. The New York life of the show begins after an August tryout in Seattle.
Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) pens the lyrics and libretto (based on the kid-lit character created by William Steig), and Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori (Millie, Caroline, or Change) is writing the music.