The mad scientist props folks at VOS have created the ultimate weapon to guard Princess Fiona from unsuitable suitors.  Unfortunately, she has one teeny tiny weak spot…

Get yourself and some friends tickets to see Shrek the Musical in Cobourg this weekend and see the magic for yourself, live on stage!  Make it date night, because with this dragon, fierce as she is, love is in the air!  Donkey better watch out…

Shrek the Musical runs from April 24th to May 3rd at Victoria Hall in Cobourg.
Call the box office at  905-372-2210 or 1-888-372-2210 

Inside the Mind of Lord Farquaad

We are sitting down with Joel Varty, an actor who has portrayed characters for VOS such as Bob Wallace in White Christmas, Curly in Oklahoma, and Sir Robin in Spamalot.  Now he’s back onstage with Shrek the Musical in a role that may not be in his comfort zone.

Joel Varty refused to don the Shrek Ears for his photo.

VOS: Joel, how tall are you?
Joel Varty: Just over six foot three.  I’m pretty used to being the tallest person on stage.

VOS: How did the production team cut you down to size for this role?
JV:  That’s a good way of putting it really, because, in addition to being on my knees, I also needed a bit of an attitude adjustment.  It’s a whole new way of approaching the stage physically and emotionally, both from my point of view as an actor, and also as the character.  Farquaad is a far cry from anything I’ve ever done before.

VOS: How do you deal with the physical aspect of being on your knees onstage for so long?
JV: It’s been a process.

We started out with research on what other actors have done who’ve played the part and looked at what kind of look the director wanted to achieve.  We built up a custom-made rig from a whole bunch of different things.  From construction grade knee pads, to umpire’s leg guards, to aluminum rods used to hold everything in place.

Joel and JP

VOS: So, what’s it like being the shortest person on stage?
JV: Well the funny thing about Farquaad is that, in his mind, he’s not little at all.  He thinks of himself as a big man, the king, and really, he thinks he’s the hero of the show.  He never got the memo that he’s the villain. So I guess my answer is that I don’t really know what it’s like, because I’m just like Farquaad.  I’m still a tall guy onstage that just happens to be underneath everybody else’s eye level.  Wierd.

Farquaad and the Guards

VOS: What can audiences expect from this show?
JV: First of all, I am very proud to say that we have J.P. Baldwin appearing onstage, (by permission of Canadian Actors Equity) and he and I have some really fun scenes together.  He plays Pinochhio as well as Farquaad’s lackey executioner, Thelonius.  Mix in some Steve Russell, blend it with Marlena Sculthorpe and toss in a Donkey named Jamie Hunt.  It’s all good.  We have a great time both in character and backstage.

Audiences should expect to be entertained, but also to use their own imaginations, which is how this story translates so well from screen to stage.  It’s about tearing down barriers and building relationships.  Also lots of singing and dancing.  And a dragon.

Farquaad and Fiona

Don’t miss Joel as Lord Farquaad in the VOS Production of Shrek the Musical!  Shows run Thursday to Sunday this week, and the Thursday to Saturday next week.

Ruth Harcort – 1929 – 2014

Ruth Harcort - 1929 - 2014

VOS THEATRE dedicates the run of Shrek the Musical to our founder, teacher and dear friend Ruth Harcort.

The VOS was founded 24 years ago because Ruth wanted to do a show her way.

We’re still focused on producing our shows Ruth’s way; with heart, dedication to excellence, in an atmosphere that brings us together as family – with a crazy hat thrown in every now and then for good measure.

Re-post: Shrek the Musical in Cobourg

Re-post: Shrek the Musical in Cobourg

Shrek actor Steve Russell was featured in a Toronto based blog and had this to say:

It is “good for the whole family” – there is lots of adult content that will fly over the kids’ heads. It is also the Shrek story from the first film but with lots of new music and dance numbers added. It is a real treat for everyone. It was quite a hit on Broadway where there aren’t a lot of small children paying the bills. There is only one price for tickets (just like Mirvish shows).

I recommend it to everyone above the age of 5 or 6. Small children may be frightened by the dragon and other costumes. Adults will get the many references to other shows and appreciate the more significant meaning of ‘letting your freak flag fly’ and everyone will laugh at the fart jokes… in spite of themselves.

Tuning up in the Swamp

The orchestra is sounding great for Shrek the Musical!  Victoria Hall comes alive as soon as the conductor’s baton hits the stand and all the musicians start to work.  Then you see lights, and it’s just magic.

Come see the VOS production of Shrek the Musical at Victoria Hall in Cobourg – you’ll be glad you did – and the friend that you bring will be glad, too!