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The chance you've been braying for

June 18, 2007|Lynne Heffley

"Shrek" the musical, in development for a 2008 Broadway opening, is looking "Far Far Away" for actors to play headliners Shrek and Donkey. Namely, here.

Auditions in Los Angeles for a new show's original Broadway cast don't happen every day, the TV reality show "Grease: You're the One That I Want" notwithstanding. But "Shrek's" creators are conducting a national search for male performers who can tap their inner 7-foot, green, swamp-loving ogre and big-mouth equine -- voiced by Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy in the DreamWorks films.

The open call will be held Wednesday at Screenland II in North Hollywood, for men in their 20s to 30s who have rock-singer chops (Shrek) or a hip-hop, R&B vibe (Donkey).

Why L.A.?

"Part of it is that it's a very pop-rock-heavy score," said Jason Moore, director of the Tony Award-winning "Avenue Q," who will helm the film's stage spin-off. And L.A. has "a great population" of rock bands -- as well as improvisers, comedians "and a healthy music-theater community too," he said. "So it's a great place for us to look for people.

"And even though we're mainly looking for Shrek and Donkey, I wouldn't be surprised if we find some fun comedians and singers to find other places for in the show."

With music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winning David Lindsay-Abaire ("Rabbit Hole"), the stage version will be based on the first "Shrek" feature film, but "we kind of reveal new things about that story line and back stories," Moore said, "and we're sort of looking for some fun ways to include bits of 'Shrek 2' and '3.' "

And, yes, he affirmed, this Shrek must have a Scottish accent too.

The musical's producers are DreamWorks Animation Live Theatrical Productions and Neal Street Productions Ltd. For more information: www.iwanttobeshrek.com.

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-- Lynne Heffley

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