Who knows what Stage School are feeding their students in rehearsals, but once again they have turned out a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed cast who don't put a foot out of place, with voices ringing as clear as bells.
When the adventurous zebra (Aidan Khan) decides there must be more to life than the Central Park Zoo – which is actually pretty depressing IRL – he uses the power of his birthday wish to break out into the big bad world. At the same time a concurrent mission is happening with the zoo’s band of covert penguins, headed up by the most excellent and perky Rebecca Katz as Skipper.
Marty the Zebra is followed in close pursuit by his mates: the sassy hippo Gloria (Kristen Robertson), the hilariously hypochondriac giraffe Melman (Declan Ahern), and the loyal, handsome lion Alex (Jackson Hurwood).
The escapees are gassed out of the subway – in a glorious psychedelic, Beatles-style sequence – stuffed into crates on a boat, then end up in the fabled Madagascar, where they encounter gangs of ferocious fossa and they’re nerdy prey the lemurs. Adam Forgione boasts great comic chops and kookiness as the eccentric head lemur, King Julien. Alex the lion realises how good he had it in captivity with daily food delivery, and starts seeing steaks dancing in front of his eyes, literally.
This is a gorgeous production by the Young Australian Broadway Chorus, with bright, brilliant costumes, awesome energy and fun choreography – a great experience for both cast and their audience, with my little theatre-goers belting out “I Like to Move it Move it” and dancing down the street afterwards.
Young Australian Broadway Chorus presents
Madagascar JR – A Musical Adventure
book Kevin Del Aguila | original music and lyrics George Noriega & Joel Someillan
Venue: Union Theatre | University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Dates: 11 – 14 July 2018
Tickets: $22.50 – $27.50