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SHREK THE MUSICAL Announces Casting for First National Tour




CHICAGO (May 4, 2010) — Producers DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, Ltd. are thrilled to announce casting for SHREK THE MUSICAL. Native Chicagoan, Eric Petersen will lead the First National Tour cast as Shrek.  The Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning SHREK THE MUSICAL will launch its national tour in Chicago beginning July 13 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph St.).  Tickets are currently on sale.

The role of everyone’s favorite swamp-dwelling ogre, Shrek will be played by Eric Petersen, who joins the tour from the Broadway production.  He recently appeared as the socially challenged Barfee in the National tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling BeeHaven Burton, also from the Broadway Company will play the feisty Princess Fiona.  Haven previously played Margo the Dog Whisperer on Broadway in Legally Blonde and understudied Elle Wood.  Alan Mingo, Jr. is Shrek’s lovably annoying best friend Donkey.  He was an original company member of The Little Mermaid where he played the role of Sebastian, and prior to that played the role of Tom Collins in RENT on Broadway.

Rounding out the cast of misfit fairy tale characters, the peoples of Duloc and Far, Far Away are:  Joe Abraham, Holly Ann Butler, Carrie Compere, Emily Cramer, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Sandra DeNise, Aymee Garcia, Brian Gonzales, Justin Greer, Lisa Ho, Benjamin Howes, Mara Newbery, Denny Paschall, Sarah Peak, Morgan Rose, Blakely Slaybaugh and David F.M. Vaughn.

“The touring cast is particularly strong, with several members joining from the Broadway Company.  We are delighted that the title character Shrek will be played by Chicago native Eric Petersen, who expects audiences full of friends and family throughout the run,” said Bill Damaschke, President of DreamWorks Theatricals.

An entirely new musical, 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 Shrek movie series.

SHREK THE MUSICAL tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales.

SHREK THE MUSICAL features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize® winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), music by Olivier Award-winner Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie,  Caroline, or Change), and is directed by Tony Award® nominee Jason Moore (Avenue Q) and Tony and Emmy Award-winner Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Promises Promises).   SHREK THE MUSICAL has set and costume designs by Tony Award® winner Tim Hatley (Private Lives, Spamalot), lighting design by Olivier Award winner Hugh Vanstone (A Steady Rain), sound design by Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages); choreography by Josh Prince, music supervision by Tim Weil, music direction by Andy Grobengieser, and orchestrations by Danny Troob & John Clancy.

SHREK THE MUSICAL was initiated when Sam Mendes, a big fan of the first Shrek film, suggested the idea of creating a musical to DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg around the time the second film was in production. The musical is produced by DreamWorks Theatricals (Bill Damaschke, President of DreamWorks Theatricals and Co-President of Production for DreamWorks Animation) and Neal Street Productions, Ltd. (principals Sam Mendes and Caro Newling).

Individual tickets to SHREK THE MUSICAL are $25 – $90 and are on sale now.  Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St. and 18 W. Monroe St.); the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000; all Ticketmaster retail locations (including Hot Tix and select Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts and fye stores); and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  Groups of 10 or more should call (312) 977-1710.

The chart-topping original Broadway cast album for SHREK THE MUSICAL is available on Decca Broadway.

DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA)

For more information, visit www.ShrekTheMusical.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  Join the award-winning Shrekster.com, the Official Fan community of Shrek The Musical delivering news, media and exclusive contests to fans of the Shrek Series and Shrek the Musical. Log in and join your city group for access to the most up to the date news, information and member’s only exclusive content form Shrek and Donkey’s first “whirlwind, big city adventure” across the country:  www.shrekster.com/chicago.

For production images, email mwilmoth@korshak.com or kmartin@korshak.com


ERIC PETERSEN (Shrek), Broadway: Shrek The Musical (Shrek Standby/Papa Ogre/Straw Pig).  Other credits include: First National Tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Barfee), many Theatreworks USA productions, readings of Zorba (w/Antonio Banderas), Up Here, among numerous others.  Regional: …Spelling Bee (Northshore/Barrington Stage), The Foreigner (Engeman Theatre), The Producers (Barn Theatre), Oliver! (Charleston Stage).  TV: “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “As The World Turns,” “Evan & Gareth Trying To Get Laid,” and an upcoming NBC pilot with Jimmy Smits. Eric is a proud graduate of Bradley University and member of Actor’s Equity.  Check out more at www.EricPetersenOnline.com.

HAVEN BURTON (Fiona), is elated to be playing a Princess at long last as she returns to her Shrek family.   Originally from Los Angeles, she moved far, far away to Broadway where she was most recently seen in Shrek The Musical as Gingy and Sugar Plum Fairy, and she understudied Fiona and Teen Fiona.  Other Broadway credits include Legally Blonde where she played Margot the dog whisperer while she understudied Elle, and in RENT where she played Maureen.  She also performed in the First National tour of RENT in the role of Mrs. Cohen.  Haven graduated with a BA from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

ALAN MINGO, JR. (Donkey). Broadway Credits: Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, where he was an original company member, Tom Collins in RENT.  Prior to joining RENT on Broadway he staged, choreographed, and performed in the Italian version of RENT for Luciano Pavorotti.  He also performed in both national companies.  Other National tours:  Seaweed in Hairspray, and Simba in the Los Angeles company and the first national tour of Disney’s The Lion King.  Regional Credits: The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse, A Christmas Story: The Musical at Kansas City Rep.  TV Credits: “Frasier,” “Law & Order,” “The Wayne Brady Show,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”  M.F.A.: University of California, Irvine. www.alanmingo.com.


DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE (Book & Lyrics) was most recently nominated for two Tony Awards for his work on Shrek The Musical:  Best Book of a Musical and Best Score (with composer Jeanine Tesori).  Prior to that he was awarded the 2008 Ed Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theatre lyricist and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Rabbit Hole, which premiered on Broadway at MTC’s Biltmore Theatre. Rabbit Hole also received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, and the Spirit of America Award. His other shows include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, High Fidelity and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theatre, David’s screen adaptation of Rabbit Hole is scheduled for release this Fall.  It stars Nicole Kidman and is directed by John Cameron Mitchell. David is a proud New Dramatists alum, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Juilliard School, as well as a member of the WGA and the Dramatists Guild Council.

JEANINE TESORI (Music) has written four Tony-nominated scores for Broadway: Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center); Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan); Caroline, or Change (lyrics, Tony Kushner), and Shrek The Musical (lyrics, David Lindsay-Abaire). The production of Caroline, or Change at the National Theater in London received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her first musical, Violet, written with Brian Crawley, received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1997. She has been the recipient of many other honors including Drama Desk and Obie Awards, and was cited by ASCAP as the first woman composer to have “two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway.” She composed the music for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Mother Courage, as translated by Tony Kushner, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. She has written songs for the movie Shrek The Third. Her film scores include Nights in Rodanthe, Winds of Change, Show Business and Wrestling With Angels. She composed songs for the movie Disney DVD releases Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II and The Little Mermaid III. She has produced sixty CD’s for Silver-Burdett Ginn’s Making Music and the original cast albums for Twelfth Night, Violet and Caroline, or Change. Ms. Tesori, a Barnard graduate, is on the council of the Dramatists Guild. Her next project is a new musical with the playwright Lisa Kron.

JASON MOORE (Director). Broadway: Shrek The Musical, Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias. Carnegie Hall: Jerry Springer: The Opera. Off-Broadway: Speech and Debate (Roundabout), Avenue Q (the Vineyard), Guardians (the Culture Project), The Crumple Zone. Associate directing: Les Misérables (Broadway, national tour), Ragtime (Vancouver). Writer: The Floatplane Notebooks (Charlotte Repertory Theatre). TV directing: episodes of “Dawson’s Creek,” “Everwood,” “One Tree Hill” and “Brothers and Sisters.” Jason has a BS in performance studies from Northwestern University.

ROB ASHFORD (Director) is director and choreographer of the current Broadway revival of Promises, Promises (Tony nomination, Best Choreography) starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. Other Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony Award, Best Choreography), The Wedding Singer (Tony nomination), Curtains (Tony nomination), Cry-Baby (Tony nomination). In London, A Streetcar Named Desire starring Rachel Weisz at the Donmar Warehouse (Olivier nomination, Best Revival), Parade at the Donmar Warehouse (Olivier nominations for Direction and Choreography), Evita (Olivier nomination), Guys and Dolls (Olivier nomination), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Olivier nomination), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Once in a Lifetime (National Theatre). Other credits include Parade (Mark Taper Forum), Candide (English National Opera, La Scala, Milan, Chatelet, Paris), TenderloinBloomer Girl, A Connecticut Yankee… and Pardon My English (Encores!). He provided choreography for the film Beyond the Sea directed by and starring Kevin Spacey.  Mr. Ashford won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for his work on the “81st Annual Academy Awards,” and was recently appointed an Associate Director at The Donmar Warehouse in London.

JOSH PRINCE (Choreographer).  Broadway: Shrek The Musical (Outer Critics Circle Nom).  Off-Broadway:  The Kid (The New Group).  New York City:  The Bridge Project (BAM/The Old Vic ’09/’10); The Jerry Springer Opera (w/Harvey Keitel) at Carnegie Hall; Camelot (w/Gabriel Byrne) with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center (PBS); and All Singing All Dancing (Town Hall ‘09).  Josh also recently had the pleasure of choreographing the 2010 Kennedy Center Spring Gala.  Additional credits:  Tales From The Bad Years (Theater Works Palo Alto, dir.); Calvin Berger (MTC 7@7 Series, Dir.);  Emerald Man (NYMF, Dir.); Barnum (Dir.); Cabaret (Dir.); Guys and Dolls;  One Way Ticket To Hell (Dir.); The Full Monty; The Big Funk (Dir.); La Boheme; Anything Goes and Singin’ In The Rain.

TIM HATLEY (Set, Costume & Puppet Design). Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Costume Design for his work on Shrek The Musical. Winner of 2002 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Private Lives on Broadway. Winner of the 2002 Olivier Award for Humble Boy and Private Lives in the West End and a 1997 Olivier Award for Stanley at the Royal National Theatre.  Broadway credits:  Spamalot, Private Lives, Vincent in Brixton, The Crucible, Stanley.  Film credits: Stage Beauty, Closer and Notes on a Scandal. Previous theatre work includes working with Theatre de Complicite, Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera and London’s West End. Graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art, London.

HUGH VANSTONE (Lighting) has designed lighting for plays, musicals and operas in London, New York and around the world. He has received three Olivier Awards for his work in London.  New York credits:  A Steady Rain (Schoenfeld), God of Carnage (Jacobs), Mary Stuart (Broadhurst Theatre – TONY & Drama Desk nominations for Best Lighting), Shrek The Musical (Broadway), Boeing-Boeing (Longacre); Spamalot (Shubert – TONY nomination for Best Lighting); Bombay Dreams (Broadway); Life (x) 3 (Circle in the Square); Uncle Vanya, Twelfth Night and Hamlet (BAM); The Graduate (Plymouth); Follies (Belasco); Blast! (Broadway); The Unexpected Man (Promenade); The Blue Room (Cort); Closer (Music Box); Art (Royale).

PETER HYLENSKI (Sound Designer).  Grammy, Tony and Olivier award nominated. Selected Broadway: Shrek the Musical; Rock of Ages; Lend Me A Tenor; Cry Baby; The Times They Are A-Changin; The Wedding Singer; Sweet Charity; Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me; Little Women; Brooklyn. Other credits: Le Reve: Wynn Las Vegas; Ragtime (West End);  Walking with Dinosaurs; Mame; Opening Doors; The Scottsboro Boys; Annie. He has designed for Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and The Kennedy Center.  Recently Peter co-produced the cast album of Shrek, the Musical with Jeanine Tesori and was the re-record mixer on his fourth film for the American Museum of Natural History titled:  Journey to the Stars.

DREAMWORKS THEATRICALS (Producer) was established in 2007 by DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NASDAQ: DWA) to produce stage productions based on its films and other original and adapted works. Bill Damaschke serves as President of DreamWorks Theatricals and Co-President of Production for DWA.  DWA is devoted to producing high-quality family entertainment through the use of computer-generated (CG) animation. DWA’s current and upcoming film slate includes How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek Forever After and Megamind; past titles include Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens. Shrek was the winner of the first-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Jeffrey Katzenberg currently serves as DWA’s CEO and on the Board of Directors and was a co-founder of DreamWorks Studios in 1994. Shrek the Musical is DWA’s first venture in legitimate theatre.

NEAL STREET PRODUCTIONS (Producer) formed in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Caro Newling and Pippa Harris to produce film and theatre. Films: Revolutionary Road, Jarhead, Stuart: A Life Backwards, Starter for Ten, Things We Lost in the Fire. Theatre: The Bridge Project with Brooklyn Academy of Music/Old Vic Theatre, Mary Stuart, West End Premiere of Three Days of Rain, Sunday in the Park with George, The Vertical Hour. Mendes and Newling established and ran the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London, 1992 to 2002, originating some 70 productions including, on Broadway, The Blue Room, Electra, True West and the Tony Award winners Cabaret, The Real Thing, Take Me Out. www.nealstreetproductions.com

ABOUT DREAMWORKS ANIMATION. DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for two consecutive years. In 2010, DreamWorks Animation ranks #6 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 19 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming feature film releases for 2010 are Shrek Forever After and Megamind.

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