Mimes and Mummers Brings Shrek Musical to Fordham


All the fairytale creatures gathered on stage to perform “Story of My Life.” (Courtesy of Elisabeth Murray/The Fordham Ram)

Students gathered in Collins Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 25, to watch Fordham’s Mimes and Mummers’ first performance of the spring semester, “Shrek the Musical.”

The musical, based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation film “Shrek,” was originally written by David Lindsay-Abaire and scored by Jeanine Tesori; however, over a six-week period at the start of the semester, director Matthew A.J. Gregory worked alongside assistant Allie Bianco, FCRH, ’24, and producer Lizzi Hartnett, FCRH, ’22, to create the perfect ensemble to bring their rendition to life this spring. 

Gregory is an interdisciplinary theater artist with an impressive resume. He is currently a faculty member at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has performed as well as directed  many shows across New York City for companies including the Saratoga Shakespeare Company, NYU and Theater for the New City. Additionally, his costume designs have been displayed at The Juilliard School and the Wheeler Opera House and have also appeared in various feature films. Gregory last worked with the Mimes and Mummers over a decade ago, but says he is  “thrilled” to be back as the director of “Shrek the Musical.” 

Gregory’s experience as a costume designer is worth noting considering the detail put into the costumes for this production of “Shrek.” The costumes were easily one of the most remarkable parts of the entire performance. His experience, alongside the creative eyes of costume designers Amy Cartolano, FCRH, ’24, and Sarah Shanahan, FCRH, ’24, shone through when Miguel Sutedjo,FCRH ’23, who starred as Shrek, illuminated the stage with his bright green, stout, perfectly ogre-like body. The innovative costume designs allowed Clare O’Connell,FCRH, ’25, to flourish in her hilarious dual role as Gingy and the Sugar Plum Fairy and gave the illusion that Matt Tobin, FCRH, ’22, was short as Lord Farquaad. 

One of the most notable numbers  was “Forever,” performed towards the end of act one. Julia DiPreta, FCRH, ’24, gave an impressive vocal performance as the Dragon. In addition to her stand-out voice, DiPreta’s costume — a dragon tail made up of about half a dozen crew members — displayed seamless choreography that added to her powerful stage presence. 

Inventive set design thanks to the hands of set designers Griffin LaMarche, FCRH, ’22, and Dominic Anthony, FCRH, ’23, transformed Collins Auditorium into the land of Duloc with effective utilization of props, lighting and creative backdrops. During the performance of “I Know it’s Today,” the stage turned into Fiona’s castle as the three Fiona’s delivered a harmonious performance. Any production of a fairy tale-based story requires good costuming and set design to accurately portray the physical characteristics, as visual elements are the most important aspect. The Mimes and Mummers’ rendition of “Shrek the Musical” was very successful in this aspect.

However, good visuals are nothing without a strong cast. The cast of “Shrek the Musical” was nothing short of talented, energetic and engaging. The fairytale creatures are all first introduced at the beginning of act one during “Story of My Life,” commenced by Mikey Duffy, FCRH, ’23, who played Pinocchio. Sam Scriven, FCRH, ’25, gave a remarkably funny performance as Donkey in this play. Together, Scriven and Sutedjo delivered many laughs and impressive song and dance routines. 

At the end of the show, the entire cast came together once again to perform the Finale. The choreography by Emma Olin, FCRH, ’23, was stellar, and the entire cast moved across the stage seamlessly.

Overall, the Mimes and Mummers put on a fantastic show with their rendition of “Shrek the Musical.” The cast was strong, the music was excellent and the set was very well put together. The Mimes and Mummers will return soon with “Our Town” this spring.