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‘Shrek’, The Musical

St. Kilian’s Players are launching their summer production of Shrek, the Musical, the story of a grouchy ogre who wants to reclaim his swamp from the evil Lord Farqaad. Along the way Shrek meets a chatterbox donkey. The dialog will make everyone laugh as the two journey to complete the bargain made with Farqaad by rescuing Princess Fiona who isn’t exactly a princess.

One of the musical directors, Michelle Lisi, explained the overlying message, “Everyone is unique and special and it’s ok to be who you are. When the cast sings the lyrics, they embrace the message and the audience will believe it too.”

Eric Vazquez, the donkey, explained that he is not just a clown but a clown who cares for others. The donkey makes people laugh and Vazquez enjoys this role of bringing joy and laughter to all.

This year’s director, Bob O’Neill, is excited to do Shrek because it appeals to the whole family. Besides being a parish fundraiser, O’Neill discussed that “the true joy is the fact that I’ve watched these performers grow over the years; this is an ambitious show for a small parish group and they are rising to the occasion, giving their heart and soul, making it truly heart warming.”

Margaret Barrett, involved in all of St. Kilian’s shows for the past 26 years, is this year’s producer and explained that this year is unique because St. Kilian players have the opportunity to perform a first run musical on Long Island.

“We tried to get the rights to do Shrek a few years ago and they were not available. The group was surprised and ecstatic to get an email allowing them to be the first theatre group on Long Island to perform the show.”

Each member of the cast or crew has a perspective on the St. Kilian summer experience. Theresa Roedig said, “The cartoon characters come to life and the acting is hysterical,” while her sister, Danielle, described the show as energetic and exciting.

Greg Padden (Shrek) said, “Besides being a regular theatre production, the Players are like a family; you see people every year and learn and grow together through the story.”

Tarra Dayton taking the role of costume director for the first time stated that it is challenging because this is the first time that she is the true director but it is fun to use her ideas and she is very excited to work with this group.

Bob Kuppelmeyer, president of St. Kilian players, referenced the group’s beginnings with Father Chuck Romano and the enduring St. Kilian Player philosophy ‘We, not I. Give, not get.’

Remaining performance dates: Friday, Aug. 2 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 and are available at the St. Kilian Rectory Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and also at the door.