“Shrek, the Musical,” based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film, is a classic fairy tale turned topsy-turvy. This year’s Camden Hills Regional High School musical has something for everyone; it’s a great family show with crazy fairy tale characters and tap dancing rats; catchy Broadway show tunes, including beautiful ballads sung by a soul searching ogre; and the message that “what makes us special, makes us strong.”

Shrek, played by Jacob Corney, is an ogre who thinks he wants to live alone on his swamp.  When the fairy tale creatures are kicked out of the Kingdom of Duloc by Lord Farquaad (Duncan Hall) and his guards (led by Jac Bakley), Shrek finds his lovely, lonely swamp being over crowded with a gaggle of misfits. These wacky Fairy Tale Creatures include Pinocchio (Nick Greer), Humpty Dumpty (Elizabeth Cummons), the Wicked Witch (Annie Brady), the Big Bad Wolf (Joe Simmons), the Three Pigs (Fiona Hall, Chloe Isis, Lalita MacDonnell), a Fairy Godmother (Frannie Howard-Girard), the Shoemaker’s Elf (Louisa Klemperer), the Ugly Duckling (Rebekah Schade), Alice in Wonderland (Emily Grotz), the Mad Hatter (Eliza Robinson), Two Misfit Playing Cards (Kate Rich, Gretta Buckley), the White Rabbit (Grace Olsen), the Bear family (Hope Orsmond, Stephen Jones, Ian Orsmond and Ava Baeza), Peter Pan (Lauren Zontini), Red Riding Hood (Carly Berke), a Garden Gnome (Sara Stine) and the Sugar Plum Fairy (Lindsay Taylor).

Determined to find some peace and on a mission to demand his swamp back, Shrek starts off on a journey to the Kingdom of Duloc.  Along the way, he rescues Donkey (Jonah Carter) from the King’s Guards. The two become best friends, much to the Shrek’s chagrin. Lord Farquaad, a scheming little ruler, sends Shrek off on a dangerous quest to find Princess Fiona (Anna Gambell). And from there we are treated to a host of lively scenes of dancing dolls and rats, a singing bluebird, a crazy cookie, a wild Dragon (Sydney Hendrick) backed up by a quartet of Singing Knights (Taylor Benner, Jacob Nappa, Austin Pohlman, Jamie Oshima) and the Three Blind Mice (Tori Arau, Molly Mann, Bethany Vix).

“Shrek, the Musical” is a new score, with music written by Jeanne Tesori and book & lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It includes a touching trio, “I Know It’s Today,” which features Fiona as she grows up, singing about her much-anticipated prince. The younger Fionas are played by Grace Iltis, Annika Johnson, Annabel Parker and Bridget Mellon. We also get a glimpse of what Shrek looked like when he was young, played by Jesse Bifulco.

The cast is rounded out by an able ensemble playing many roles including Matt Watts (Papa Ogre), Rebekah Johnson (Mama Ogre), Jonas Eichenlaub, Alex Jurek, Gabe Salo, Aidan Gordon, Sadie Allen, Lydia Hill, Madison Imus, Annie James, Hannah Olsen, Ellie Spizzuoco, Kate Hodgson, Kaylin Henning, Audrey Lane, Destiny Powers, Grace Powers, Hillary Pimentel, Kara Robak, Kathryn Snyder and Rebecca Westbrook.

Three student instrumentalists will be joining eight adult musicians in the pit orchestra: Erin Doran, flute; Emily Lewis, clarinet; and Aaron Nolan, trumpet. The show is directed by Kim Murphy with assistance by Joani Mitchell and Erin Chenard. Technical Director is Rick Ash with costume direction by Mary Wells and makeup and hair directed by Terri Ralston.

“Shrek, the Musical” will run Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. in the Strom Auditorium. Advance ticket sales are $12 reserved and $10 general admission, $6 for students and senior citizens. There will be a special Family Show Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. with the reduced ticket price of $5, all general admission. For more information, call 236-7800, ext. 282 or visit stromtickets.com. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.