Shrek the Musical at the Palace Theater in Waterbury–A Parent’s Review

Shrek the Musical takes the parts we love about Shrek the movie and then sculpts the story to make it work really well on stage and with a lot of dancing. I was a little concerned that I might be watching the movie over again, but enough was changed to keep it fresh. For instance, my favorite part of the musical was a Broadway-chorus-line-style tap dance with the Pied Piper’s rats. You won’t find that in the movie anywhere.

I saw toddlers and teens enjoying the performance. There was not a single crying child I could discern through the whole performance. Some of the youngest kids were tired by the end of the entire 2 ½ hour performance, one was even sleeping, but the ones sitting around me were engaged.

The classic lines that parents have memorized because our kids love watching the film over and over again still deliver. Shrek the Musical even finds a way to add a few more zingers. It is still the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast that we enjoy with enough change to keep you on your toes.

With the exception of “I’m a Believer”, none of the songs from the original Shrek soundtrack are included in the musical.  There are 19 songs included in the musical. They are delivered with the professional quality one expects of seasoned performers.

The production values were amazing. The costuming was accurate, rich, and varied. The sets were beautiful and creative. We could peer behind bars and walls and watch the sun rise and set. I was a bit in awe of the number of different sets.

The show is on regardless of the weather!

What parents need to know:

There is an opportunity to buy snack food before entering the theater. The prices are better than a movie theater. If you are steering your young ones away from candy, maybe talk to them about not buying anything at the theater or getting only a water.  There are alcoholic drinks also available.

The Palace is a small enough theater that all of the seats provide a good viewing experience.

The intermission is about one hour after the performance starts and lasts 20 minutes; plenty of time for a potty break.

The actors are wired for sound, but the overall sound level of the show was OK. It was a little quieter than a movie without explosions.

Shrek paraphernalia is available for purchase. There is a stand close to the entrance with t-shirts and some ogre-ear head bands and other novelties for a keepsake. I did not check the prices.

At the end of the performance, there is a short duration of strobe lights toward the audience.

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