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Shrek the Musical Staff Pick

When: Thu., June 19, 7 p.m., Saturdays, 1 & 6 p.m. and Sundays, 12 & 5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 3 2014
Price: $17-$60
Typical fairy tales are often snoozers, full of froufrou princesses that sing to rodents and white-bread princes whose only “charms” seem to be providing last-minute lip service to their comatose girlfriends. We know who the bad guy is because he or she always wears some kind of cape. What’s great about Shrek the Musical, the latest production from Berkeley Playhouse, is that it mocks those conventions at the same time that it revels in them, with spirited dance numbers and infectious glee. The songs are as uplifting as they are sly and clever, with book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, and music by Jeanine Tesori. It’s a show full of substance, and despite its goal of subverting the fairy tale genre, of course, love prevails, good triumphs over evil, and the ending is sure to leave you living happily ever after — or at least for the next several hours.
— Anna Pulley

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