Helen Hayes would approve! Her namesake youth theatre rocks “Shrek the Musical” at Antrim

BY GEORGE J. DACRE

10556492_794482147268722_473335048700427441_n IMG_0291About 100 persons were in attendance to see the teenagers of Helen Hayes Youth Theatre put on a heck of a show Saturday at the Tom France Theatre, Antrim Playhouse in Wesley Hills. The acting, singing, dancing, staging all were done expertly and with flair.

Director Lexie Frare, age 25, co-director Amy Griffin and producer Danielle Rudess put it all together, working for months at the Helen Hayes Studios in Nyack where the youngsters go for show biz training. Musical Director Anthony Travaglini, using taped music and directing the entire show just off stage, added to the professional touch that “Shrek” had.

The actors from Ben Daniel who played Shrek, the Ogre to Rachel Katz, Princess Fiona, Chadwick Marge, Lord Farquaad, Lauren Aprahamian, Young Shrek and Baby Bear and the entire cast were energetic, inspired and beautiful. These young faces and spirits brought a joy of life to the Tom France Theatre.

Appearances made by Pinocchio, Corinne Ross, Sugar Plum Fairy, Allison Eliopoulos, Dragon, Rachel Kaufman, Papa Bear, Paolo Perry, Big Bad Wolf, Mark Covais, Wicked Witch, Rebecca Kaufman, Pig #1, Savanah Trimble, Pig # 2 Lindsay Schneider, Pig #3, Isabel Mele, White Rabbit, Kyle Hanchar, Peter Pan, Sammy Federico, Gretel, Ava Epstein, Hansel, Josh Fink and Donkey, Kaitlin Phelan. Some of the actors played two or three parts.

Helen Hayes, who lived down the street from the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre in Nyack, would be very happy with this production. I rate “Shrek The Musical” by the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre Four Out of Four Stars!!!!