61 students involved in musical production
By James Card
The Waupaca Community Children’s Theatre will perform “Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.” The musical is based off the Dreamworks animation film.
Directed by Lori Zelinske with music direction by Emma Kelley, the production is sponsored by the Waupaca Community Theatre and is partnered with the Waupaca School District’s summer school program.
Admission is free, but donations for the food pantry will be collected.
The musical will be performed at Waupaca Middle School at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, and at 1 p.m. Thursday,
The storyline follows a gang of Central Park Zoo animals that are accidently shipped off to Africa. Characters include a lion, a zebra, a hippo, a giraffe, a bunch of penguins and others.
In New York City, they dodge cops and animal-control officers until they get zapped by tranquilizer darts. They wake up en route to Africa. There is a stop in Antarctica and on Madagascar they meet up with a tribe of lemurs for another adventure.
There are 61 children participating ,including the backstage crew. Their ages range from second grade to ninth grade and there are students from Amherst and students from all Waupaca schools are represented. Not only can Waupaca students join the production, but all interested youth in the area can participate. Last year there were several students from Iola.
“They have all different backgrounds. For some of them, this is their first production. For others, they have been in production since they were in kindergarten,” said Zelinske.
The main characters are Alex the lion played by Avery Walters, Marty the zebra played by Abbey Higginson, Melman the giraffe played by Keira Konkol, Gloria the hippo played by Katia Peterson and King Julien played by Emily Higginson. There are 24 speaking parts plus the ensemble. They have been practicing since the start of summer school in early June.
“The music is a little bit of everything. Most people know the song, ‘I Like to Move It,’ from the animated film which is also what we performed in the parade. There is also a jazzy number called ‘Steak.’ Most of the songs have great messages. The last song is ‘Together Forever,’ and it’s about how we’re coming from different areas and that family and friends are very important to us,” said Zelinske.