Like most actors, Lukas Poost had never quite experienced anything like the effort that goes into playing the lovable swamp dweller 'Shrek.'
Poost, who plays the green ogre in the upcoming 'Shrek the Musical' at Keller Auditorium, actually just graduated from college. What a role for his first paying job.
'The costume is pretty amazing, and pretty hefty,' says Poost, 23, from rural Pennsylvania. 'I think the suit itself weighs 45 pounds, and with a whole lot of prosthetics and makeup on my face, it's totally different than anything I've done.'
Before he arrived in Yakima, Wash., the first stop on tour, right before Portland, Poost had practiced the character's deep Scottish dialect, but not even donned the costume. He had done all rehearsing without the suit.
'I had given myself my own imaginary fat suit, with this lumbering thing going on,' he says. 'When I do rehearse in the suit, I don't have to create that hugeness.'
Poost couldn't believe his good fortune when he got the callback for the 'Shrek' audition, and he practiced the song 'Who I'd Be' just in case. It worked out. He had been hoping for just an ensemble part. 'One day I'm sitting at home in the woods, the next day I'm in the big time.'
He loves the musical, having read the book and seen the 'Shrek' movies several times.
'The music is great and the character has such wonderful arch, going through this '180,' ' Poost says, 'beginning as an ogre who doesn't want to be bothered, happy as a solitary soul, and by the end has his best friend ('Donkey') and a wife ('Princess Fiona') and becomes a hero.'
Andre Jordan plays 'Donkey.' Liz Shivener is 'Princess Fiona.' Both are 24.
'We've had a wonderful time to bond, and build on that rapport,' Poost says.
The musical is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, Sept. 13-16; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at Keller, 222 S.W. Clay St. Tickets start at $24.50 and can be purchased by phone at 503-241-1802.