Shrek at Players by the Sea

Shrek the Musical is in production at Players by the Sea through Aug. 11. The uplifting musical, a fundraiser for the Jacksonville Beach community theater, is very entertaining and a delight for both children and adults.

Based on William Steig’s 1990 book and Dreamworks’ 2001 animated film, the musical tells the love story of an ogre named Shrek and a princess named Fiona. It’s also a tale about being true to who you are. Shrek features a parade of memorable fairytale characters, great songs and playful humor that both young and old enjoy.

Players’ production is capably directed by Jason Nettle, who has a long list of professional credits and currently is head of theatre at Ponte Vedra High School. The musical features a talented 30-member cast that includes many standout students from Ponte Vedra High and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.

The lively and energetic show is under the skilled musical direction of Cathy Dooley. The big dance numbers feature the spirited choreography of Kylie Gilberto.

The cast members present stellar performances. After a 10 year absence from the stage, Joshua Bond returns in the title role and delivers an endearing performance as Shrek. Katie Nettle is engaging as Princess Fiona and Theodore R. Canty is charming as Shrek’s sidekick, Donkey. Jazz Zamor reveals her monstrously wonderful voice as a giant Dragon emerges behind her. Alec Hadden is impressive as Lord Farquaad, a pint-size aristocrat with a big voice. Hadden does most of the show on his knees with toy legs dangling in front of him.

The 15-plus member creative team, led by Production Manager Jereme Raickett, did an incredible job bringing this story to life. The costumes by Brooklyn Pattison are rich with color and detail, and the makeup by Lisa Fleming is outstanding. The set is beautiful and works well to tell Shrek’s story. Ian Black is the scenic designer with assistance from Baron Tetzlaff and Katie Dawson. Daniel Dungan lighting design and Darrell Allen Morton’s properties add significant style. Jennifer Balestra is the stage manager and Alex Peek is assistant director/assistant stage manager.

Tickets are $28, $25 for students, seniors and military. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Thursdays are student nights, offering half price tickets with a valid student ID. For reservations, visit http://www.playersbythesea.org.