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Millennial Theatre Company’s ‘Shrek’ rescheduled for May at Robins

WARREN — “Shrek the Musical” still will be the Millennial Theatre Company’s debut at the Robins Theatre, but the show now will open in May.

The musical will be staged May 29-31, the dates occupied by “Heathers the Musical,” the second production in its inaugural season at the downtown Warren theater.

“We obviously wanted to continue with ‘Shrek,'” MTC Artistic Director Joe Asente said. “Our No. 1 priority was to put it on as soon as we could. Having those dates on hold already, it seemed like a good date to be well within the guidelines from the CDC for when people could gather again.”

“Shrek” originally was slated to open at the Robins on March 13, but the show was postponed the day before opening night following Gov. Mike DeWine’s directive against large gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was absolutely devastating for the entire cast,” Asente said. “We talked with the Robins the day before and made the decision to go forward, announcing the cleaning procedures and what we planned to do. Things developed so quickly, it got pushed out of our hands.”

The entire cast will be able to continue on the new dates, and Asente said the show should benefit from the extra rehearsal when the cast can reassemble.

“It was incredibly frustrating for us, but in the long run, it will only make our cast and our company stronger,” he said.

“Heathers” will move into the July 31-Aug. 2 slot occupied by the recent Broadway musical “Be More Chill,” which likely will be rescheduled in 2021.

“Heathers” was selling better than “Be More Chill,” although Asente said that could have been because it was earlier. But he said he believes the musical based on the 1989 Winona Ryder-Christian Slater movie has a growing following thanks to videos posted by fans on the Tik Tok app.

It also was the first show MTC staged, doing a sold-out run at Akron Civic Theatre in 2016.

“‘Heathers’ has a great following from when we did it the first time,” Asente said. “People are always telling me about how they went to see it in 2016. Even though we capped it at 300 tickets, it’s amazing who saw it or watched it on YouTube after we posted it.”

“Rocky Horror Show” and “Hairspray” will go on as scheduled in October and December, respectively. The changes mean MTC only will do four shows in 2020 instead of the five that were included in its season ticket offering.

“We’re working out the logistics of that with the Robins and will be sending out emails to season ticket holders within the next week,” Asente said.

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