Presented by Adelaide Youth Theatre
Reviewed 21st April 2018
Adelaide Youth Theatre takes their audience on an expedition to the wild for their April 2018 musical. Directed by Georgia Broomhall and featuring two alternating casts, Madagascar Jr tells the story of Marty the Zebra celebrating his 10th Birthday with his zoo buddies, Alex the Lion, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo. The celebration quickly turns into a wild adventure to the jungle of Madagascar.
With a sold-out audience on the afternoon I reviewed, the crowds were eager from the word go; little people making lots of noise and excitement ready for what they were about to watch.
Broomhall’s directorial debut should be applauded. Working with children ranging from 7-17 years of age she managed to showcase everybody’s abilities and talents. Her direction made good use of the stage and filled the spaces that others often neglect.
Serena Martino-Williams’ musical direction was slick and tight with some very beautiful but difficult blended harmonies for such young performers, which they managed to execute with confidence and skill.
Alana Shepherdson, with assistance from Jasmin Branford, did an outstanding job choreographing this show. Every move was executed perfectly and well suited for this style of musical but also age appropriate for its young performers. The dance numbers were upbeat and lively, resulting in many young audience members dancing in their seats.
Adelaide Youth Theatre always deliver a high standard of well executed costuming, lighting and sets and this production was no exception. Ray Cullen produced almost Dr Seuss style projections appealing to a young audience with vivid colours and simple graphics.
Characterizing any animal can be difficult but the likes of Josh Spinello (Alex), Ryan Vandermyle (Marty), Zali Sedgman (Melman) and Erin Sowerby (Gloria) do it with ease and confidence showcasing their own individual talents.
The second Nathan Stafford steps foot on stage you know you’re in for an outstanding performance. Portraying King Julian to an absolute professional level and with the perfect accent, brilliant flamboyant dance moves and superb comic timing, Stafford is certainly one to watch out for in the future!
I must give mention to the 4 penguins; Alyssa Tacono (Skipper), Kate Neville (Kowalski), Alessia Charman (Private) and Kiara Linke (Rico), as they all gave captivating performances. With beautifully blended harmonies, great characterizations and well projected voices, they sent the audience members into fits of laughter.
Special mention also to Zoey Velianofski for her cheeky and energetic performance of Mort the baby Lemur.
A very fun, energetic and enjoyable show. Well done cast and production crew for a very entertaining show!
Reviewed by Nadine Wood