In Part 4 of a series of interviews with the cast of Reston Community Players’ Shrek The Musical, meet Chuck Dluhy and Joshua Redford.
Diane Jackson Schnoor: Please introduce yourself to our audience.
Chuck: Hello, my name is Chuck Dluhy. I am originally from the Pittsburgh area, but have lived and participated in theatre in the DMV for a long time. Much of my acting training locally has been with the Theatre Lab, Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and Woolly Mammoth Theatre School … with a few dance classes (jazz, tap, country western, and hip-hop) thrown in for good measure.
Joshua: Joshua Redford.
What shows have audiences seen you in lately?
Chuck: In the past year or so, I’ve played the roles of Michael Novak in God of Carnage at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family at the Kensington Arts Theatre and Thenardier in Les Miserables at Reston Players.
Joshua: Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard.
Who are you playing in Shrek? What’s one way you really connect with your character?
Chuck: I’m playing Lord Farquaad, the comically evil villain of the show. I connect with him because he is “vertically challenged” as am I. Well, Lord Farquaad is only 4 feet tall, and I can say I am taller than that, but not by a WHOLE lot!
Joshua: I have the privilege of playing the role of Donkey. Donkey is a high energy character, and I’m a pretty high energy person.
What is the most challenging thing about playing your character?
Chuck: Well, the obvious answer would be singing, dancing and acting on my knees the entire time! So I’ll go with the obvious answer. I can honestly say I have never done that before.
Joshua: Maintaining a high energy throughout the entire production and not letting it fade because I’m tired. It’s a workout :-). However, like a parfait, Donkey has layers and can’t be one note, otherwise I think the audience would grow tired of his antics.
What makes Shrek special or unique?
Chuck: Shrek is very special because every actor/singer/dancer on stage gets his or her moment to shine. It is truly an ensemble show full of wonderful talent. I’m proud to be part of this outstanding company.
Joshua: I think Shrek has a perfect blend of entertainment for adults and kids alike. Kids will enjoy the costumes, and characters, and parents will most definitely enjoy the humor.
What is your favorite number in Shrek — and why? Do you have a favorite line you get to deliver? What is it and why is it your favorite?
Chuck: I really like “Who I’d Be,” which is the Act I finale sung by Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey. First of all, it’s a gorgeous piece of music, and sung beautifully by Paul Tonden, Jolene Vettese, and Joshua Redford. Everyone has dreams of who they’d really like to be. I want to be taller, thinner, richer … I want to be loved, I want to have a family, I want to be famous. The theme resonates with me personally, and I’m sure for the audience alike, whatever that dream may be. My favorite line?? Well, not so much the line, but the action that goes with it. When asking Fiona to marry him, Farquaad says, “Will you be the perfect bride for the perfect groom?” as he tries to get down on one knee to make the proposal. Needless to say, the image is quite hilarious.
Joshua: I get to sing some of the best songs in the show. “Don’t Let Me Go” is a high-energy roller coaster of a song. During “The Travel Song,” I have some funny one-liners and there are puppets designed by Andy Regiec in the background as Shrek and I pass by. In “Forever,” I get to sing with the extremely talented Jennifer Lambert who wails like Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls, plus I get to sing “I like a big, big, girl.” When else am I going to have a chance to utter that phrase? Finally, in “Make A Move,” I have an opportunity to get in touch with my inner James Brown and Barry White. Yes….you heard me correctly.
Is there a number you WISH you were singing in Shrek? What is it and why? Or is there a line or scene someone else has that you just wish was yours? If so, tell us what it is and what makes it special?
Chuck: “Freak Flag” is just a fun energetic number that I wish I was singing and dancing. The ensemble of Fairy Tale creatures do an amazing job with this number. Power to the freaks … or to anyone who feels like they are different. Stand up for what you believe in. This number will bring the house down! I will be watching from the wings.
Joshua: The two fairy tale numbers, “Story Of My Life” and “Freak Flag,” are so much fun. We have a very talented ensemble that has been hard at work since July learning the choreography for these numbers. Many of them also double as characters in Duloc, and then others have a huge tap number in Act 2 that is just awesome to watch. Our ensemble is AWESOME!
What do you hope audiences take away from this production?
Chuck: Fun and laughter! Come see the show! Adults: relive your childhood … or your kids’ childhood! Kids: discover the magic of live theatre!
Joshua: Shrek is perfect family entertainment! Unlike other shows which are targeted to younger audiences and might put Mom and Dad to sleep, Shrek appeals to the whole family. The kids will love seeing the characters that they know from the film on the stage, and the grownups will love the humorous dialogue, fabulous costumes, talented performers, and the high quality professional-like theater experience that they have come to expect from RCP.
What are some of the magical surprises that RCP’s production of Shrek has in store for audiences?
Chuck: Well, that would take away all the fun for the audience, wouldn’t it??? Needless to say, with characters like ogres, a fire-breathing dragon, and every fairy tale character imaginable, there will be lots of magic on stage!
Joshua: I can’t tell you that. You have to come and see for yourself.
Shrek The Musical is produced by Laura Baughman and Mary Ann Hall and features direction by Sue Pinkman, musical direction by Elisa Rosman, and choreography by Ivan Davila and Haley North. The cast includes Paul Tonden (Shrek), Jolene Vettese (Fiona), Joshua Redford (Donkey), Chuck Dluhy (Farquaad), Jennifer Lambert (Dragon), and Mhairi Cameron, Sean Cator, Brayden DiBacco, Gary DiNardo, Marissa Dolcich, Chris Dore, Richard Farella, Kieth Flores, Elizabeth Gillespie, Patrick Graham, Alexandra Guyker, Mark Hidalgo, Jasmine Jones, Evie Korovesis, Allie Lytle, Lindsey McClenathan, James McNamara, Allen McRae, Todd Meikle, Erik Peyton, Colleen Robinson, and Ella Schnoor.
Shrek The Musical plays from October 16-November 7, 2015 at Reston Community Players performing at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center – 2310 Colts Neck Road, in Reston, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 476-4500 x 3, or purchase them online.
Performances are October 16th 17th, 23rd, 24th, and 30th and November 6 and 7, 2015 at 8:00 PM, with 2:00 PM. matinees on October 25th and 31st and November 1 and 7, 2015. A special Halloween costume contest is planned for the October 31st matinee. Cast member meet and greets will be held in the lobby on October 25th, November 1st, and November 7th.
CenterStage is handicap accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.
Meet The Cast of Reston Community Players’ ‘Shrek The Musical’: Part 1: Paul Tonden and Jolene Vettese.
Meet The Creative Team Behind Reston Community Players’ ‘Shrek The Musical’: Part 2: Director Sue Pinkman and Music Director Elisa Rosman.
Meet The Cast of Reston Community Players’ ‘Shrek The Musical’: Part 3: Jennifer Lambert, Patrick Graham, and Evie Korovesis.
Meet Reston Community Players’ Farquaad and Donkey in ‘Shrek The Musical’: Part 4: Chuck Dluhy and Joshua Redford.