‘Shrek the Musical’ is almost here. The Record had the opportunity to speak with Merritt David Janes, who plays Lord Farquaad on Tuesday. “He’s what we call the vertically challenged villain in Shrek,” said Janes. “He’s about 3’5” and I’m about 5’10” so the way we do that is I’m on my knees the entire show in a contraption that is very similar to something a catcher might wear in a baseball game.”

Janes is in his second month with the show. “I’m having a great time.”

“I’ve been acting most of my life,” said Janes.

This is not his first venture into Orange. “We were here with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ last year. We really loved the Orange audience, they were fantastic and we’re looking forward to another fantastic turnout,” said Janes.

In ‘Beauty,’ Janes played Limiere, the candlestick. He said the actress playing Fionna in ‘Shrek’ was last years Belle.

“All the tours I have done have been different, but for this one, this is just a fun, funny part. I’ve never played a role that was purely comedic,” he said. “Limiere was a comedic role, but it had other things. This is more in you face. I’m this ridiculous little villainous man who is just pure evil.”

This is one of their busiest weeks. Janes said they are going through four cities. “We average eight shows a week.”

Janes said one of the great things about traveling with a show is the different audiences. “You have the same show you do, but everywhere responds to it differently. Southern audiences have a lot of energy, especially the ones we play in Texas.

“Texas has this unique energy about it. They really know how to whoop and holler and have a good time. That’s one of my favorite things about Texas. People laugh at different parts, but it always has a great energy to it and its a really fun show.” Janes said the show brings out the different senses of humor that exists in different parts of the country.

Janes says he loves to do any kind of theater and would also like to do a film, at some point. “I’m a songwriter as well. I enjoy doing a lot of different creative things. I think it’s important to keep yourself busy that way.”

“Shrek the Musical” hits the Lutcher Theater stage this Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lutcher.org or call the box office at 409-886-5535.

“I want everyone to know that this is a fantastic musical. It may not be the first one people think of, given all the fantastic musicals that are out there. If you pick this one, your really gonna be happy, because everybody that we’ve talked to all over the country just loved it,” said Janes.

“There’s something for everyone. We’ve got stuff for the adults, stuff for the kids, everybody is going to have a great time if they come to see the show.”

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.