The Paramount is one of my Abilene favorites, as I’ve said before.
This issue’s Look Inside is super interesting because as many times as I’ve been there I’ve never seen the marquee room, or a few other interesting corners of this lovely old building. I once attended a wedding where the bridal party stood onstage. But this was a much different event.
Growing up, musical theater always held a special place in my heart. In early childhood I learned all the classics from TCM including West Side Story and Annie Get Your Gun. In high school choir I learned all the words to Wicked, In the Heights and The Lion King. Needless to say, Shrek Jr. was a perfect Sunday afternoon activity for me and these kids killed.
Maddie Lowery as Princess Fiona nailed the “pretty princess” vocals but still pulled off all the unique character that was required for the part with an ease that stole the show! (insert required fart noises)
Corban Gilliland’s uncanny portrayal of Lord Farquaad had the audience in hysterics. Standing (and dancing) on his knees the entire show, his highly physical performance was nothing “short” of impressive. But then again, neither was Tim Evans performance as Donkey! He definitely channeled his inner Eddie Murphy and the audience responded to each of his jokes with giggles and guffaws.
Overall, Michael and I were hugely impressed with the production! I’ve been to one or two Paramount Productions “Jr.” performances but this is the first I’ve seen with children running puppets onstage. The dragon, the gingerbread man, Lord Farquaad’s legs, and Pinocchio’s nose added the magic a fairy tale musical needs.
I’m telling you. These kids are the future of Abilene. I’m proud that there’s a program in town that supports the performing arts and gives kid the opportunity to try their hand at show biz. I highly recommend taking time to watch these kids work their magic. Next year’s Paramount Productions youth musical is Elf the Musical JR. Auditions will be in early October and I’m already making plans to attend.
Follow Bailey LeRoux and Scene on Instagram and Twitter.
@bajaelsol and @AbileneScene