Editor’s note: Reston Community Players bring the popular Shrek movie franchise to the stage in a live show, Shrek the Musical, playing on weekends now through November 7, 2015 . Our original post has details on the show. To find out more, we sent Amy, one of our reviewers, to check out the production on opening night. Read her review and find out how to win tickets to the show!
By Amy J. Holmes, CAE
My family and I attended the Reston Community Players’ opening performance of Shrek the Musical at the Reston Community Center, Center Stage, in Reston, Virginia (a.k.a. Hill Valley this weekend for you Back to the Future fans) on October 16, 2015. This was our first visit to the theater, and the Reston Community Players really rolled out the red carpet welcome for us!
When I checked in at will call, I received a warm welcome from the ticket volunteer. The house manager was especially friendly and took the time to tell me about the theatre and Reston Community Players (RCP), giving us a quick tour and history of the venue. I was impressed by the friendliness of everyone working with the theatre and the patrons. It was a true community feel among everyone there.
The theatre itself is amazing. The seating is graded, so there is no worrying about sitting behind a tall person and not being able to see. This was especially important for my little people. One of the greatest features of the theatre is the orchestra pit. Yes, they have real live music with a dozen real live musicians. This is such a treat for the theatre anywhere these days and makes such a difference in a live musical production. What a pleasure!
The set was really spectacular and well done. My children loved the gigantic dragon. The colors were vivid and bright. The show was professionally done and well-received by my daughters and their young friends in attendance. The kids in our party – four of them between the ages of 8 and 10 – enjoyed the singing, the vibrant costumes, and the humor of the beloved characters.
It was amazing for me to learn that the actors are all volunteers and have other “real” jobs during the day, many completely unrelated to theater. I was happy to take my family to such a quality production without driving to New York and paying Broadway ticket prices.
The big bonus was that we attended opening night and there was a reception afterwards. The kids especially loved the reception as they got to eat and socialize with their friends. They enjoyed meeting the actors and interacting with them, acquiring a few photos and autographs in the process. This is when I knew we stumbled upon a special theatre. It really felt like we were part of a little community.
My nine-year-old daughter was grateful for the snacks both during intermission and after the show. Here’s what she said: “I really liked the refreshments at intermission. They had cupcakes, brownies, and cookies and drinks. I was really glad the Girl Scouts brought the food. I liked the after-party at the end because there were lots of yummy snacks. My teacher was in the show and I got to see her at the party. She played the dragon and the mom ogre.”
If you’re planning on seeing RCP’s Shrek the Musical, here are some other good tips:
- Bring cash! There is a 50/50 raffle that funds the Shelton Hall Memorial Scholarship and the Bruce Marson Memorial Scholarship awarded each year to deserving high school seniors pursuing theater. It is a great cause and you might be lucky!
- At intermission, a local Girl Scout troop provides refreshments. You’ll want to donate generously to support this troop and their efforts. My girl scouts were especially glad to see them there.
- You may be able to attend a future RCP show for free if you volunteer as an usher or house manager. Visit their website for more information.
- The evening shows are late. Our performance started a little after 8 pm and ended close to 11 pm. Some children in attendance wore their pajamas to the musical. If you have younger kids, I recommend the matinee shows.
- Getting there, our GPS went silly and took us to an apartment complex behind the theatre. You may want to check navigation or a map before you leave home. We did eventually find the right place, parking in the shopping center lot in front of the theatre/community center, and that is where we needed to be.
Want to win tickets to the show? Find out more below!
Treat your family to a fun afternoon on Halloween!
In the fun-loving spirit of Shrek, RCP is offering a special event to go along with the matinee show on Halloween day afternoon. Following the 2 pm show on Saturday, October 31, 2015, audience members can enjoy not just a meet-and-greet with the cast but also a Halloween costume contest with treats for all and prizes in four categories. To win four tickets to this show, follow the instructions on our original post at this link.
All photos by Traci J. Brooks Studios and provided by Reston Community Players.