It’s not a secret that I love musical theatre and that I am a huge fan of the local community theatres we have throughout Lake County. Highland Park Players Theater for Young Audiences is one of those outstanding groups and this past weekend my younger two and I were able to see their current show, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure. You are going to want to free up your weekend so you can see one of the final shows.
I brought my two youngest, ages 6 and 8, to the show with me on Saturday. We have never seen Madagascar so didn’t have any pre-conceived ideas or really know much about the storyline other than that animals from Central Park’s Zoo escape to try to be free. Children who know the cartoon feature very well will probably need to be reminded that this show is not just a live action version of the cartoon but rather another version of the same story.
The show is fast-paced and upbeat. My normally squirmy 6 year old managed to stay engaged through the whole show – more than I can say for a 2 hour movie. The cast is full of energy bouncing on and off the stage and interacting with the audience, dancing and more.
Our cast and the creative team put their hearts into this production and it shows. You will not only be blown away by the caliber of professional performances and beautiful storytelling but will want to see this one with the family more than once!Producer Carol Lee Wax
I completely agree with her! Madagascar is the third musical I have taken my six-year-old to this year and the first he has asked to see again. The show was a fun story about friendship that he could understand and follow without questions. The bit of physical and slapstick humor was icing on the cake for my silly little guy.
My daughter’s favorite part was the curtain call. The cast was on the stage and in the audience dancing and they were bouncing beach balls round the crowd. After the show the cast stays out so that you can meet them for pictures and autographs.
A few things you should know before you go:
- Madagascar is indeed a family-friendly show. My kids were nowhere near the youngest and everyone was enjoying it.
- The performance is at Sherwood Elementary school so you are in a gym, not a theater. Great if you have lightweight kids who don’t like the theatre seats flipping up on them. Could be bad if you’re short.
- The gym goes completely dark at the start of the show. Since it’s not in a theatre there are no aisle lights. My kids were okay but there were some upset smaller ones.
- Seating is general admission so be sure to get there early to get a good seat, especially if you want an aisle.
- Parking is free but a short jaunt from the lot to the school so again, leave ample time to get in… we cut it a little short on our arrival.
I am once again pleasantly surprised by the quality of local community theatre and encourage you all to get tickets for this weekends performances.
The Highland Park Players’ is a non-profit organization with the purpose of enriching, educating and entertaining the community by providing residents the opportunity to attend and participate in a superior theatre experience. The are entering their 32-year serving the Highland Park and North Shore community.
Disclosure: The writer received complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are their own.