Go To Madagascar Live!
This week we went to Miller Auditorium (at Western Michigan University) to see Madagascar Live! This energetic show is touring North America until June, 2011.
Does your family just love the Madagascar movies? (ours, too). Take the beloved characters, bump them into full-size costumes, and you've got a party! Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, Melman the Giraffe, the penguins, the Original King Julian, and even Mort are live and onstage. Thanks to DreamWorks Theatricals, this show delights both kids and their parents.
The show has a fun set - from the zoo to the subway; the ship to the shore, it's oversized and very kid-friendly. And, at 90 minutes, it's very easy for even the smallest kids. Upon arrival, all the kids are given paper lemur glasses. They are SO CUTE.
Never fear, grown-ups. The show is full of enough witty banter (like the movies) that you won't be bored out of your seats. You MAY dance out of your seats, especially on the hit song, Move it! Everyone around us stood up and danced, as did the characters on stage.
The show is very well-cast, with all-star actors that have extensive experience in music and theater. Drew Hirshfield, in particular, shone as King Julian. The show also starred Nigel Jamaal Clark (Marty), Aurelia Williams (Gloria), Jason Williams (Skipper and other parts), David Perlman (Melman, on STILTS!), Rob Marnell (Alex), Darren Lorenzo (Maurice), and a full cast for the lemurs, penguins, the purse-wielding old lady, policemen, and more. The voices were perfect, especially Skipper and King Julian. And, they could ALL SING!
Madagascar Live! is directed by Gip Hoppe, who is an award-wining playwright and the director of other live kid-friendly shows (Go Diego Go, Dora, Blues Clues). Such talent is obvious throughout the entire show - from the talented cast to the set and lighting, to the peppy music.
We were familiar with the songs from Madagascar, and the Live show is filled with great new songs - singable, toe-tapping numbers that kept the kids entertained. They flowed seamlessly into the story, enhancing the original and bringing a new standard to kids musical shows.
Our eight year-old daughter said, "I thought all the characters were so fun - I was laughing the whole time! I wonder how Melman could walk - and dance - on those stilts! The lemur glasses were so funny."
Madagascar Live! is touring over 25 cities this spring, until June. You can learn more at
Note: We received complimentary tickets to Madagascar Live! (and permission to photograph the finale). Thanks, WMU & Miller Auditorium!
All photos copyright Dr. Jessie Voigts