When I heard that Broadway San Jose was bringing Shrek, the Musical to the kingdom next week, my immediate thought was; the castle is a disaster, I can’t possibly entertain. My next thought was, ooh a Princess, finally someone who understands my rank, responsibility, and social position, we must sit down and gossip about privilege, Arts patronage, and other princessly things (that probably begin with the letter P.) Admittedly, I was a tad disappointed to discover that Princess Fiona wasn’t an ACTUAL Princess, but rather an actress named Liz Shivener who plays a princess on the stage. But, this notion of playing the part of a princess peaked my interest and so I quickly whipped up some questions and had them delivered by Page to this Princess. I was delighted when she responded and I feel I must share with the rest of my kingdom, her fascinating responses.
ME: How long have you been a Princess?
L.S: I am lucky to have been a princess for quite some time. My last job was Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and I am thrilled to be princessing again with Fiona. This tour just started, but I can already tell that playing Fiona will be a blast.
ME:Wow, two Princess jobs, you must be good. SO, obviously you weren’t born with this title, but did you dream about being a Princess (or an actress) when you were growing up?
L.S: Like every little girl, I watched all the fairytales and Disney movies growing up. I especially likes Fairytale Theatre with Shelly Duvall. I didn’t really know I wanted to be an actress until high school, though. However, if we could talk to my eight year old self, she would be thrilled at what I am doing.
ME: While my royal Scientists work on a way to do that, I have to know, how long does it take you to get ready each day and do you have handmaidens to assist you?
L.S: It takes about an hour to get ready, including makeup and wardrobe and warm ups. At one point in the show I have about seven “handmaidens and footmen” helping me with a costume change.
ME: Seven! Goodness! I need to up my staff! Does your crown ever get too heavy? Be honest now.
L.S: Ha! I actually am glad the crown isn’t too heavy! That’s an awful long time to have a weight on your head.
ME:Tell me about it,I’ve made the switch to graphic tiara frames for their lightweight and durability. I can hook you up with my supplier if you want. What’s the best part about being Princess Fiona?
L.S: Fiona is a pleasure to play because she is so kooky. I am so lucky to be able to bring a character to life that people love so much. Shrek is a great story because it is a modern adaptation of a fairytale. Kids are smart. They want something more interesting than “prince rescues princess and happily ever after”. This show gives them something more.
ME: I can’t wait. I’m a fan of happily ever after, but more is always appreciated. What’s something about Princess Fiona that might surprise us? Something “unprincess-like.”
L.S: There is actually a number in the show that is both surprising and “blooper-like.” It’s a great moment where everyone gets to laugh together. I don’t want to spoil the surprise though!
ME: I detest tattle tales and I adore surprises! Thank you for avoiding spoilers, that’s very considerate (and princessly) of you. If you weren’t a Princess, what would you be? (Favorite roles, shows you would love to take on?)
L.S: The thing about being an actress is that you can’t be picky. Any role is a privilege, truly.
ME: Very gracious. Are you sure aren’t a real Princess? Okay, tough one here. If Shrek and SJSharkie (the San Jose Sharks NHL mascot) were in a fight, who would win?
L.S: I hate to say it, because San Jose is a great town, but my money is on Shrek. Hands down. Don’t mess with him.
ME: Loyalty is a very princess-like trait, but it was a trick question Im’ afraid. Sharkie would NEVER get in a fight, he leaves that to the players on the ice. No matter. Finally, why should San Jose come out to see Shrek, the Musical next week?
L.S: People should see Shrek because it is a beautiful telling of a story that they already love. There is something so magical about the theatre and having the experience take place live, in front of you. There are so few things that audiences of all walks of life can enjoy together, but this is one of them.
Well put Princess. I look forward to seeing your portrayal of a princess on stage and making your royal acquaintance in person next week after the show. Now, get yourselves some tickets and join me for a wonderful evening of theatrical family friendly fare.