Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

December 13, 2012

Fairytale ogre comes to life in musical 'Shrek'

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “He’s a misunderstood man who had a hard time growing up,” Marriner said. “He got fed up with being picked on and found a way to get back at people who aren’t normal. He gets everyone to ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ and creates a perfect kingdom.”

Marriner joined “Shrek” last summer soon after finishing up on a touring production of “South Pacific,” which brought the actor to Buffalo for a week’s worth of shows at Shea’s last spring. He tried out for “Beauty and the Beast” but got coerced into trying out for Farquaad, a role he landed despite a less-than-stellar audition.

The role presents two challenges, he said: spending the entire show on your knees and trying to shine beyond the superb job John Lithgow did in voicing Farquaad in the first film.

“I don’t know if I can ever make Farquaad better, but I can try to keep to the originality they had in the film,” he said. “After those first rehearsals, my body was hurting in spots I never hurt before ... but I love hearing laughter. Once you’re in the role, you don’t care about your knees hurting, your back hurting and your body making popping noises that aren’t natural.”

The cast is also allowed to customize certain parts of the show, Marriner said. Whether adding local references or mixing in flavors of the moment such as “Gangham Style,” actors ensure no two performances are completely alike.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: "Shrek the Musical" • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today and Friday • WHERE: Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo North Campus, Amherst • MORE INFO: Call 645-2787 or visit ubcfa.org

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