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Shrek The Musical, now playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, is sometimes entertaining, but mostly problematic.

Based on the popular 2001 animated film about a lovable green ogre, the stage version explores Shrek's relationship with a talkative, over-zealous donkey, and their efforts to rescue Princess Fiona.

Eric Peterson has a fine voice and a large presence as Shrek, but my biggest issue with this family musical is the score by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire; they're rarely interesting and never memorable.

Shrek The Musical has the look and feel of a Vegas-style show designed for children. It is slightly bawdy with some surprising PG language, and there is even an entire musical number dedicated to flatulence.

Some of the better moments happen when all the fairly tale characters gather in front of Shrek's home complaining and seeking help.

Shrek The Musical' also features some enormous set peices and clever puppets and costumes, but ultimately, a stage filled with talent doesn't make up for lack of good writing. And just because it's designed for children doesn't mean it should take the low road.

Shrek The Musical runs two-and-a-half hours with intermission, and in the grand scheme of high-level musical theater, it falls far, far short.

E-mail gcogill@wfaa.com

Performances of Shrek the Musical continue through October 17 at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas.

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