musicalshrek musicalshrek

Shrek the Musical Flops, Will Close Soon

Here’s a shocker: people aren’t willing to spend their hard-earned money to see a Broadway musical with a lead character that looks like this:

Shrek the Musical

Variety reports that DreamWorks is shuttering Shrek the Musical early next year. Despite Katzenberg’s best efforts to milk the Shrek franchise, the musical has only been filling about 60% of audience capacity and dipping to as low as 49% capacity last month.

  • Some people just have no taste! Specifically the ones in the audience.

  • Isaac

    That bit of sarcasm at the beginning is just plain wrong, because people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on at least three movies with a lead character that looks like that.

  • K

    Good riddance. I have, unfortunately, heard the cast recording, and it was *dreadful*.

  • Daniel M.

    I guess Nemo on Ice or Toy Story I and II in 3D dont qualify as ‘milking’.

    Must be a point of view thing eh Amid. Biast what?

  • Amanda

    well, duh—

    It’s pretty much exactly the film- but LIVE! ZOMG!
    At least with Lion King they went in a different artistic direction, this is pretty much Shrek the Film but with a lot more facepaint and inane singing.

  • Best news I’ve heard in weeks.

  • Lindsay

    Good riddance, I say. Now here’s hoping the fourth (fourth?! *shudder*) film will utterly bomb and prevent further spin-offs… >_<

  • Good riddance.

  • I’m not surprised by this, but I actually think the show is pretty clever. Not very memorable, but I certainly bought more into it than I did the movie.

  • Not to throw cold water on the hater parade, but everything I’ve heard about the next Shrek film makes it sound like Dreamworks has another hit on their hands.

  • Baron Frederick Goodtaste

    Way to revel in people losing their jobs. Kudos.

  • Dave K

    Well no one saw THAT coming…

  • Tom D

    I’m sure the Shart franchise will continue for years to come, but don’t ever make the mistake of confusing popularity with quality. A billion, million flies eat crap every day, but it doesn’t make me hungry for it myself.

  • Mervyn

    What will they do with that warehouse full of Shrek the Musical t-shirts and baseball caps?

  • Thank God! Now if they can just stop doing Shrek movies after no. 5 it would really become a miracle!

  • I had no idea it had even opened.

  • Rufus

    I think that answers everything anyone might’ve ever wondered about the Shrek Musical. If I was Shrek and I saw that, I think I’d most likely write a letter of apology for all my sins and then commit ritualistic suicide.

  • Phil

    I didn’t even know this existed.
    Nor would I have ever wanted it too.

  • Val

    Oh dear lord. Rufus…I could not believe that clip. It was definitely time for that mess to end.

  • optimist

    It got some great reviews surprisingly enough and anyone I talked to who saw it liked it. It’s for kids. A LOT of whom love Shrek.

    To put this in the proper context it’s also been a famously bad time for ALL the big, lavish-that is, expensive to mount and produce-Broadway musicals for at least the last year. An awful lot of shows have shuttered early despite good reviews and audience response, simply because they’re so expensive to do and if the capacity isn’t 100% for month after month, every night they run at a loss. 60% isn’t a disgraceful showing in these times in a very large venue like Shrek’s theatre.

  • Mars

    Best post ever! hahahaa!!

  • I’m sure there’s a future for it.

    Broadway play today, high school play tomorrow. I bet there are lots of high school drama clubs that would enjoy putting on “Shrek”. Colleges too.

  • doug holverson

    @Amid: Here’s a shocker: people aren’t willing to spend their hard-earned money to see a Broadway musical with a lead character that looks like this:

    That probably explains why the stage musical of Young Frankenstein also died….

  • NotJaded

    As someone who’s actually seen the play, it was quite enjoyable overall, and story-wise, a big improvement over the two movies in the series I’ve seen. Definitely better than the original movie, that’s for sure. They couldn’t overcome the irritating donkey character. I hated his character as much as I did in the movies, but otherwise it was a fun time. Sometimes it feels like people judge things based on it’s very existence rather than actually seeing the thing they’re criticizing. I don’t hear anyone griping about the Lion King musical, which to me, was for more derivative than the Shrek musical. But to each his own, as the milkmaid said when she kissed her cow….

  • David Cuny

    So many new terms to learn: “legiters”, “auds”, “nommed”, “tuner”, “prods”, “perfs”…

    Seeing the clips didn’t really do anything for me, although I found the lyrics to be suitably clever. I didn’t really care for the subject matter in the first place, but I’ve got to hand it to them: they tried to stay true to the source material. (Well, the film, anyway).

    But I’m not sure the article supports Amid’s snarky comments. For example, drawing 60% capacity in tough times isn’t exactly “bombing.”

    Similarly, it looks like a lot of people were “willing to spend their hard-earned money” – just not enough to support a very expensive show. And they still appear to be going ahead with the Chicago opening in July.

    On the other hand, Katzenberg comment (“We believe it will continue to create financial value for the company and deliver profits beyond our initial investment.”) certainly does come across as an effort to “milk” the franchise.

  • Sylvain

    Of course, you won’t see ANY condescending news here about “milking” pixar-on-ice. There won’t be any mention of “milking the franchise” when they do all the pixar sequels and 3D reruns. But there WILL be a Brad Bird comment stuck in our faces for many months about the “success” of UP.

    This year, the brewmasters don’t have any opinion about Ice Age 3, even though it has become the 2nd most successful animated film of all time, twice the box office of Up, with half the budget and a third of the staff of pixar.

    But we’ll know for SURE if they do “Ice Age on Ice”.

  • Amen, NotJaded, Amen.

    Hey kids, don’t bash something you haven’t seen!

  • FigmentJedi

    And nothing of value was lost

  • ask

    It’s news that Shrek will close in January 3rd, but you don’t have to be so blunt about how it flopped! I saw it in previews last year- it was very good.

  • Gee! I never thought this would happen since the musical first opened! (*sarcasm*)

  • Adam Koford

    Whew! Now Sutton Foster can move on to something more worthy of her skills.

  • Donald Benson

    Broadway is supposed to be where things start, not an afterthought for Hollywood. I never saw it, but got the impression Shrek was one more case of expensively duplicating too much of the movie for no good reason. Beauty and the Beast was another case — Even in the soundtrack recording, you could tell where throwaways were being slowed down and inflated into big live effects and numbers. I wonder if that show could succeed now, with audiences exposed to so many more $100-per-ticket live movies.

    If you’re going to adapt a movie, you really need to burn some bridges. Many screen-to-Broadway epics fail because of too much fidelity to the originals. Talented, hardworking casts and lavish productions only called attention to what the stage versions COULDN’T do instead of capitalizing on what theater COULD do.

    The few exceptions that come to mind were based on comparatively intimate movies with no signature gags or effects that had to be compromised (the chases and impossible quick-changes in Some Like It Hot, for example). Even The Producers was mostly a two-man movie outside of Springtime for Hitler — which, of course, is a piece of cake to put onstage.

    If Shrek entered the world as a touring attraction or even on ice, I’d probably be more favorably inclined. But on Broadway it was a tragic waste of a lot of talent and hard work by people who could have done something fresh — that Dreamworks could have used to launch a NEW franchise.

  • Rio

    I don’t know about the musical, but I’ve heard that Shrek 4 is going to be a smash hit!

  • I’m all for people having a job on Broadway, but this show is just another entry in the long, long list of movie-to-stage adaptations that just do not work. Sure, for every visually inventive and expectation challenging production (The Lion King) there’s sure to be more than a few duds, but Broadway producers don’t seem to understand that a lot of people can’t afford ticket prices that are adjusted for ridiculously bloated budgets. Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark is temporarily (if not indefinitely) dead in the water because of a senseless amount of expense, so you’d think the ‘less is more’ idea would have kicked in by now. Nope. Instead we have adaptations of Catch Me If You Can and Bring It On in our near future. Great. Thanks Broadway.