Amidst all the Broadway closings, those looking to catch a musical this winter will have at least one new option: Shrek the Musical. Ben Brantley at The New York Times has a surprising review: "Shrek, for the record, is not bad." Unlike Disney's Tarzan and Little Mermaid musicals, "Shrek has the virtues of a comprehensible plot and identifiable characters." That doesn't exactly make it great. Among the play's several problems, Brantley notes the awkwardness of "having to dress up to resemble fantasy illustrations, a process that, to put it kindly, tends to cramp expressive acting." Brian d'Aracy James, who plays Shrek, is "so encumbered with padding and prosthetics that your instinct is to rush the stage and tap his head to see if he's really in there." In order to play the story's diminutive villain, Christopher Sieber must walk around on his knees. "What with a whole phalanx of bedtime-story archetypes … the show starts to feel like a Christmas panto, one of those silly seasonal shows beloved in Britain and bearable because, like Santa Claus, they come around only once a year."