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TAKE THE STAGE

N.B. Mills students debut 'Shrek the Musical Jr.' in new auditorium

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Well-known ogre, Shrek, was brought to life in an N.B. Mills Elementary School production of “Shrek the Musical Jr.”

 Before the musical began, N.B. Mills Elementary School Principal Sheliah Burnette expressed how impressed she is with all of the students and staff involved.

 “The students and staff worked very hard at this… so proud of them, so grateful,” Burnette said.

 After Burnette cleared the way for the performance to begin, the floor lights on the stage lit up and the music began to play and with the draw of the curtains young Shrek appeared.

The musical began from the beginning of the story, the beginning the movie doesn’t even show. Shrek as a young ogre being sent out on his own by his parents to start his life. Another cool feature to the play was getting to see Fiona grow.

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Fiona ages through the course of the musical. Pictured are three stages of her life, played by (left to right) Iyania Lawrence, Kaidyn Rankins and Zoey Phillips.

 The play featured her from a young girl to a teen and then to the young princess people are familiar with from the movies.

Lord Farquaad also made an appearance with a strong stern performance – even he made the audience laugh with his prop jokes.

Lord Farquaad could be heard saying, “Woo broomstick horse,” over and over again as he rode in and out.

 From the start until the end it was obvious the youngsters worked hard - and that is not just because of the round of applause given after each number.

 The numbers were so well-performed an audience member might believe the students were lip syncing when in fact, they were just that well-rehearsed.

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Matthew Combs (Lord Farquaad) with the Duloc Performers (which included Ashley Bravo, Nyelle Boatwright, Marvin Del Angel, Aidan Inabinett, Jonathan Long, LaDamien Parker, Imani Prince, Veronica Redmon, Jhaliel Sharpe and Destyni Wilder).

 The acting skills of the students were also beyond their years with the facial expressions and hand gestures being enough to tell a story on their own.

 Throughout the musical, the audience got to experience some of the beloved banter of Shrek and Donkey, which kept the play lively.

 The musical featured musical numbers such as “Story of My Life and “I Think I Got You Beat,”  which were lively and even kept the audience laughing.

There was also a musical number called “Freak Flag" which was about embracing who we all are, where Shrek looked to the audience and said “I’m mean, I’m green, get used to it.”

The musical also featured many fairytale favorites throughout the hour-and-a-half performance such as Peter Pan, the Ugly Duckling, Pinocchio and the Wicked Witch to name a few.

More than anything, the play was pure fun for the audience and cast members.

The entire cast took a bow after their finale song and then cut loose for their rendition of “I’m A Believer " 

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As the musical came to a close, the students took a bow. Pictured (left to right) are Gary Murdock (Pinocchio), Evan Kershner, KeAndre Thompson, Iyania Lawrence, Jocelyn Henderson (Gingy) and Nylah Joseph (Ugly Duckling).

The musical ended with a standing ovation as the kids stood and clapped with pure joy.

The production will be put on again this weekend for the community to enjoy with tickets being only $5. The performances will be on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Burnette is very excited to see community members join N.B. Mills for their first musical of “Shrek”.

“This is really special because this auditorium was a community effort,” Burnette said about the new auditorium.

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