Madagascar

26239876_1772588576087379_1966891144192992198_nStage 62 presents Madagascar A Musical Adventure. For the next two weekends, your favorite DreamWorks characters are live on stage, singing, dancing and cheering up and down the aisles of the theater and across the stage.

The show opens at The Central Park Zoo. The King of New York City, Alex the lion, (Jake Smith) his ‘bestest’ pal Marty a zebra, (Chris Martin) ‘mother’ to her closest friends, hippo Gloria, (Katie Kerr Springer)  and Melman, a gentle giraffe, (Sam Viggiano) have a happy existence, are fed and generally content in their environment. Then Marty meets four plotting penguins, portrayed by Darrin J Friedman, Michael Van Newkirk, Colleen Tracy and Audra Zook.  The birds are leaving the zoo for their proper home in Antarctica.  Marty, inspired by the penguins’ sense of adventure, decides to follow in their footsteps.  He shares with his friends, his wish to venture beyond the walls of his confinement, but they are content at the zoo and make Marty promise to stay.  Yearning to be wild and free, Marty escapes while everyone else is asleep. Once Alex, Gloria, and Melman discover Marty is gone, they chase after him.  Wandering the streets of New York city, the animals, including the penguins, are caught at Grand Central Station and put on a ship headed to Kenya.  The birds quickly devise a plan of mutiny but due to their lack of seafaring wreck the ship.  Everyone is washed up on the shore of Madagascar and soon greeted by kooky King Julian XIII (Brian Naccarelli) and his band of lemurs, depicted by a winsome company, cast primarily by children.  Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman learn Madagascar is inhabited by a Conspiracy of lemurs and the feared Foosa, ‘a cat-like beast native to the island’.  Mayhem quickly ensues and a lively adventure unfolds.

Madagascar, written and performed primarily for a young crowd is far from dull.  Adult’s in the audience will find themselves about as engrossed as the kids, especially during scene 4, The Beach of Madagascar, when King Julian briefly parodies POTUS and Alex finds himself ‘hangry’ for steak.   Over the course of 60 minutes, there are 16 musical numbers, from the opening, “It’s Showtime”, (Crackalackin’)  to the final reprise of “Move It”, the audience is bouncing in their seats. The animal costumes and brilliant makeup highlight director Patty Folmer’s vision.  The company’s zeal keeps the audience engaged as well as a skillfully crafted set, depicting both a zoo and beach and efficient scene changes. Each of these factors establishes Madagascar as a top-notch children’s theater production.

Madagascar is like a party;  singing, dancing, friendships, birthday cake, beach balls and animal adventures.  Familiar and catchy toe-tapping tunes, energetic choreography and an enthusiastic cast will keep the entire family entertained.

Madagascar runs at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall through February 18. For tickets and more information, click here.