Madagascar Jnr – A Musical Adventure | Adelaide Youth Theatre | Review

Madagascar Jnr – A Musical Adventure | Adelaide Youth Theatre

Theatre Review

Madagascar Jr, based on the DreamWorks movie, takes us on a musical adventure with Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo. Marty celebrates his 10th birthday with his friends but is having a bit of a midlife crisis – and dreams of what might be outside the walls of their enclosure at the New York Central Park Zoo. His friends unwittingly escape with him from the zoo and due to some mishaps find themselves in Madagascar. These main characters were played brilliantly by the talented young cast, showing abundance of personality for each animal. They certainly brought the charm from the animation alive on stage for the audience today.

My 9 year old companions thought the scheming penguins were very amusing. Look out for King Julian played by Nathan Stafford, who rocks the stage, complete with a brilliant accent, bigger than life personality and is very adept at doing the splits, much to everyone’s enjoyment.

Madagascar is perfect for a youth theatre production – animals are of course all different sizes so is totally suited to a cast of different aged children of varied heights. The whole ensemble is kept busy and they really bring the show alive with plenty of dance numbers throughout. It is wonderful to see even the littlest performers showing off their talents with some amazing somersaults while older dancers master some great choreography.  Many of the numbers involve all or most of the huge cast all on stage together – not an easy feat to choreograph, but it’s done so well in this production. It’s a huge party on stage when they perform ‘I Like to Move It!’ and is a favourite with the audience since everyone knows this song. Try getting it out of your head for the rest of the day! Although the other songs may not be so familiar, they are catchy tunes and are performed well by all.

The production is about one hour long so is perfect for young kids to keep them engaged and not have to sit for too long. We were a bit sad it was over so quickly as it was so enjoyable. We saw the show at a session with many OSHC groups and could see that the kids enjoyed it a lot. It’s also a bit of a thrill for them to see the main characters after the show in the foyer, happy to talk and take photos with fans.

If you love a big finale packed with loads of fun, you won’t be disappointed. We get to hear ‘I Like to Move It’ again, with a huge song and dance performance, which is obviously so much fun for the cast, and also had some of the audience up dancing as well. It’s a brilliant way to end a super entertaining show. Madagascar Jnr is another huge success for Adelaide Youth Theatre and demonstrates once again that young musical theatre talent is strong in Adelaide.

We saw the Friday 20 April 2018 performance with these young talents above from left to right: King Julian played by Nathan Stafford, Alex the Lion by Joshua Spiniello, Gloria the Hippo by Erin Sowerby, Marty the Zebra by Ryan Vandermyle and Melman the Giraffe by Zali Sedgman. The penguins today were Skipper played by Alyssa Tacono, Kowalski by Kate Neville, Rico by Kiara Linke and Private by Alessia Charman. Wonderful singing and dancing by this cast and we expect the other cast will be just as brilliant.

Madagascar Jnr – A Musical Adventure by Adelaide Youth Theatre is on at the Arts Theatre from 19 to 21 April 2018.

Find out more here.


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Image Source: from Adelaide Youth Theatre Facebook page and by Play & Go 

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