By Gabe Licht
ORONO, MN When “Shrek the Musical” hits the stage at Orono High School July 24, the voices of Delano residents will fill the auditorium. This hilarious story of a charming ogre is being produced by 4CT, a community theater jointly sponsored by Orono, Delano and Rockford community education.
Several Delano residents have key roles in the production of “Shrek the Musical.”
Joe Lawrence, a Delano High School English teacher, is directing the production. This is Lawrence’s initial directing assignment at 4CT in a career that has included educational, community and professional theater.
Two local musical talents, Mark Hemingway as vocal director and Jason Koets as orchestra director, bring to the stage wide-ranging backgrounds in school and church music programs.
Delano student Kaden Paulson plays in the pit orchestra.
Filling the female lead role of Fiona is Maria Vejdani, former DHS vocal music instructor, who is currently enrolled in a master’s in voice program.
Returning to the 4CT stage is Delano resident Brad Pappas, who plays the role of Lord Farquadt. Pappas has had a varied stage career including television commercials and stints at Disneyland and Disney World. In a past 4CT production, Pappas portrayed the role of Curley in “Oklahoma.”
There is a Delano family presence in this production, as well. Kate and Claire Bruhn are twin sisters who will be sophomores at Delano High School. They are veterans of the stage, having appeared in theater and musical productions at Delano Schools and community events. Joining them in the production is their father, Brad Bruhn, who is making his stage debut as the Big Bad Wolf. Brad, a DHS graduate, is a 30-year member of the rock group Butch Automatic & the Four Speeds.
The cast of “Shrek the Musical” includes 55 children and adults from the west metro area. Rounding out the cast, as well as performing in the orchestra, are other Delano residents: Clara Lawrence, Mikayla Mckasy, Keenan Sutherland, and Lily Maeder.
The script of “Shrek” is a colorful, fanciful story with spirited songs and unexpected plot twists. As the plot unfolds, a lovable hero appears on the scene who proclaims, “What makes us special makes us strong.” The audience will see themselves in this ordinary and weird cast of characters.
Performance dates for “Shrek the Musical” are Fridays and Saturdays, July 24 and 25, July 31 and Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. and Sundays, July 26 and Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. at Orono High School. Questions about the production should be addressed to the Orono Community Education office at (952) 449-8350. Tickets for Shrek The Musical are available online at www.4communitytheatre.org