The Abilene Civic Center was home to the loveable ogre Shrek Tuesday night as “Shrek The Musical” came to town, complete with all the bells and whistles of the Broadway adaptation.

Anybody who has seen the movie understands that the “Shrek” movies are a clever melting pot of every fairy tale imaginable, with lots of witty slang and pop culture references that really make it fun. To begin to list the fairy tales it takes from – either directly or indirectly – would be an extremely time consuming task. The movies also boast the perfect combination of keeping both children and parents engaged and enjoying the story.

To give Shrek The Musical a proper review, one needs to look at it two different ways:  from the standpoint of an adult watching a touring Broadway musical, and through the eyes of a child, the original intended audience for the story.

Let’s start with how the kids(more specifically, the 5 and 12 year old kids at the show with me) felt about “Shrek The Musical”:

It was good, but it was too long. Keeping the attention of a kid for a 90-minute movie requires some serious consideration. Even if the story and characters are great, kids under 12 or so aren’t going to want to stick around for the entire show. “Shrek The Musical” nearly doubled that. Watching sleeping children being carried out after the show – and before it ended – can’t be what the producers of the show had intended. Call it the parent in me, but 10:30 on a school night is a bit excessive.

Now for the grown-up review:

I found it to be a great production filled with excellent performances from Lukas Post (Shrek), Andre Jordan (Donkey), Merritt David Janes (Lord Farquaad), and some really good choreography (particularly with the Dragon scene). The best performance of the night goes to Liz Shivener (Princess Fiona). She has the voice, which is nice. She made the role seem very natural, which isn’t easy to do in a musical. But she also managed to take the mannerism s and movements of a Dreamworks animated movie character and bring it to life. It was impressive to watch.

Overall, “Shrek The Musical” was good. Expect to carry sleeping younger children out of the theater by show’s end. It didn’t find that perfect combination of entertaining parents and kids throughout the show, but I have to give credit for trying. Right now, I can’t think of many musicals or plays that try to appeal to such a mass audience.

Have you been to any shows that you’ve enjoyed as much as your kids?