In watching a live performance of Shrek the Musical (Junior) I could not but help thinking about our amazing contemporary culture. This version was a shortened one written for 12-15 year old actors.
I saw the Shrek movie several years ago. It was a huge success and the musical version must be one as well.
The story is about an green ogre who is rejected because he is so different. He is commissioned to save a forlorn princess so a despot king could marry her. The princess and the ogre, however, fall in love and that’s that.
Over and over in the story are references to being different. Further, it is about accepting the differences and being proud of them. In the musical, there is a rousing song entitled, Let My Freak Flag Fly. The flag prop used has several colors, making it, and the rest of the play, clearly about homosexuality. This even though the romances are heterosexual.
The story fits so perfectly the values taught in public schools today, acceptance of differences. I’ve said many times the teaching of such values surely has a role in the growing acceptance of gay people in the U. S. It must affect to one degree or another the attractiveness of religions which go out of their way not to accept gay people.
There have been several successful movies this year with religious themes. Shrek the Musical shows there have also been successful productions that undercut some passionately held religious values.