It’s fun, it’s relevant and it’s highly interactive. Trust me, you won’t regret taking the kids to Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr, writes Sbu Mkwanazi.
Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr
Peoples Theatre, Joburg Theatre163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein
Runs until August 4
R149 at webtickets.co.za
There are three words that wreak havoc with English-speaking South Africans who have to take Afrikaans as a subject at school: “trappe van vergelyking” – “degrees of comparison” in English.
Let’s face it, we all know that there is a hierarchy when it comes to the entertainment industry – for audiences, theatre is lekker, television is lekkerder and cinema is lekkerste.
The young audiences who go to watch Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr at The Peoples theatre probably compare the theatre piece with the original cinematic DreamWorks Animation version. There are very few things that’ll leave them disappointed.
The four lead actors, Luciano Zappa (Alex the Lion), Joelle Rochecouste (Gloria the Hippo), Thokozani Jiyane (Marty the Zebra) and Marvin Molepo (Melman the Giraffe) ensure that they are on par with the original cast as they put on an interactive spectacle.
In most scenes, the radiant quartet involve the young ones, asking them for advice, requesting directions and generally making them feel like they are part of the show.
This interaction is cleverly woven into the production and keeps the generally fidgety audience engaged at every turn.
While the plot remains faithful to the original movie, the condensed theatre version consistently has an ace up its sleeve as the audience is entertained by localised double entendres and the most recent dance moves, such as the Bust Down, the Shaggy and the Floss.
I am 36 years old, so I could have the names and moves completely incorrect, but my 11-year-old twin sons can attest to just how “kif” the show is.
Their glowing reviews are proof.
Mpumi Mkwanazi says: “It is one of the best theatre shows I have watched. On a scale of one to five, I give it five, and I recommend it to friends and family from ages three to 12, then from 25 and older.
It is educational and I really loved the actors and the décor. It is very funny and has a lot of dances that everyone can learn. The penguins were cute and mysterious.”
Sihle Mkwanazi says: “This is the best theatre show I have ever seen and I give it a six out of five!
I think there is no number to use that can explain how good it really is. It is for people who are under the age of 13, but there are some parents who like sushi and steak who will like it as well.
The only drawback is that not all cast members use microphones, so it is difficult to hear some of the dialogue from the less important characters.
This leaves you wondering if you are deaf, deafer or ‘deaferest’ than the people around you.”