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First Look: Live-Action Shrek from "Shrek: The Musical"

Posted: August 12th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
First Look: Live-Action Shrek from "Shrek: The Musical"Submit Comment
USA Today was able to chat with Brian D'Arcy James, who will transform into the famous green ogre Shrek for "Shrek: The Musical." In addition, the paper was able to score a shot of James as Shrek, which you can check out below.

James figures it took him about 2 hours and 15 minutes to make his first transformation into the title character. He has repeated that process "a handful of times" and is down to less than 2 hours. "We'll streamline it a bit more as we move forward," he says.

The clock is ticking. "Shrek" begins a pre-Broadway run Thursday at 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and officially opens there September 10th. Based on William Steig's children's book "Shrek!" and the first of the three DreamWorks animated films it inspired, the production then moves to New York to the Broadway Theatre to begin previews November 8th in preparation for a December 14th opening.

To turn James into Steig's homely ogre, director Jason Moore enlisted veteran costume and scenic designer Tim Hatley, whose credits span film, opera and theater, including Monty Python's Spamalot. "Usually, my job is to give a sense of theatricality, not necessarily to copy," Hatley says. "But Shrek is so known and loved that we realized we were fighting a losing battle."

Any noticeable departure "would have left a lot of people disappointed, especially little people."

Makeup designers Naomi Donne and Michael Marino used "film-quality prosthetics" to ensure James "has full control over his facial expressions," Hatley says.

For comfort, Shrek's costume was fashioned with "head vents and channels to allow sweat to drip out." The front of the costume "pops away," so that during a short break James "can get air to his chest quickly. And we cut hundreds of holes in the padding to allow air to go through, like Swiss cheese."

With no bathroom break except for intermission, when James can get out of his suit entirely, he has to drink with discretion. "There's no escape route in it, if you will," he says. "Ogres have very large bladders, but I'm definitely going to be mindful of my coffee intake."

Brian D'Arcy James: (click to enlarge)


James as Shrek: (click to enlarge)


Source: USA Today


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