YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- A big green ogre has taken over Mildred E. Strang Middle School.
Students will be performing "Shrek the Musical, Jr." on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Yorktown High School auditorium.
The musical is based on the 2001 movie and is about an ogre whose swamp is invaded by fairy tale creatures who have been evicted by Lord Farquaad.
Eric Hernandez, an eighth-grader, gets to play the role of Shrek and said it has been fun.
"It's really different," Hernandez said. "I've never been the lead before."
Hernandez said Shrek is very miserable and doesn't like anybody.
"I'm a really happy guy," Hernandez said. "Shrek does change, though."
Jack Tinari, a seventh-grader, plays Shrek's comedic sidekick, Donkey.
"He's such a funny character," Tinari said. "Sometimes you want to dial it down because it's so much."
Tinari said he loves coming to rehearsal and seeing everyone dressed up in their funny costumes. It's not every day you see a wolf dressed up as a grandmother. Tinari said he hopes "Shrek" makes the audience feel good about themselves.
"One of the lessons is you don't have to be perfect to be who you are," Tinari said.
Larry Hetz, an eighth-grader, plays the villainous Lord Farquaad.
"He's a villain who doesn't know he's the villain," Hetz said. "It's funny that he's so oblivious."
Hetz said the costumes look amazing and he has enjoyed getting to ham it up onstage.
As Fiona, who gets caught in a love triangle between Shrek and Farquaad, eighth-grader Abby Menocal said her character is a bit bipolar.
"She's all over the place," Menocal said. "She's a lot of fun."
Menocal said she is a big fan of "Shrek: The Musical" and that Sutton Foster, who plays Fiona in the play, is one of her idols. She has relished following in her footsteps.
"I have such a good time when I come to rehearsal," Menocal said.
Paul DiRito, the director, said a play like "Shrek" offers a lot of opportunities for his young cast.
"It's a high-energy show," DiRito said. "It's bittersweet knowing that it's almost over. It's been a great ride getting to know these kids."
Tickets are $9 and can be purchased via the Yorktown Central School District and Mildred E. Strang Middle School websites at www.yorktown.org. If any tickets remain, they will be sold at the door before the performance, cash only.
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