What’s an Ogre to do? ‘Shrek the Musical’ to be Shut Down on Broadway
Less than a year after it opened on Broadway, Shrek the Musical will be dimming its lights. Throughout its short run, the production was plagued with slow ticket sales and tepid critical response. In the New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote,
“Shrek does not avoid the watery fate that commonly befalls good cartoons that are dragged into the third dimension. What seems blithe and fluid on screen becomes lumbering when it takes on the weight of solid human flesh. The pop-cultural jokes and ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’-like spoofery that are the currency of Shrek passed in the wink of a mischievous eye on screen. Onstage they seem to linger and grow old. And morals about inner beauty and self-esteem that went down easily enough in the movie, stick in the throat when amplified into power ballads with lyrics explaining that ‘What makes us special makes us strong.’”
Although Shrek‘s Broadway run will close on January 3rd, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks, the studio that owns the rights to the franchise, hopes that the musical still has a bright future. The company will embark on a nationwide tour starting in Chicago this coming July. Katzenberg tells Variety, “We were hopeful that the show would have a longer run on Broadway. But we believe it will continue to create financial value for the company and deliver profits beyond our initial investment.” With a price tag of $24 million, the producers of Shrek the Musical better hope it finds an audience somewhere. Otherwise its back to the caves for the once-lovable green ogre. Maybe people should start realizing that some movies should remain just that — movies.