Pukekohe Performing Arts Presents: Madagascar

Directed by Hayley Va’a

Musical Director: Emma Bishop

Original Music and Lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan

Gather the kids, get ready for a night of laughs and prepare to Move it, Move it! Pukekohe Performing Arts is delighted to bring Madagascar Jr, the production for the first time in New Zealand!

Madagascar is the DreamWorks animated motion-picture released in 2005 and delighted audiences with its unique characters and story-line that explores the meaning of friendship, with a catchy and hilarious soundtrack.

The heart-warming family-friendly and funny tale of zoo animals that try to escape their home at a New York Zoo in search of freedom and to experience the wild, a journey that unexpectedly lands them in Madagascar.

From the hilarious plotting penguins to Alex the ‘big performing’ Lion that has a vulnerable side and his eccentric, lovable friends, Marty the Zebra, Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe who is afraid of germs, and the strong and confident, Gloria the Hippo.

If you loved the movie then prepared to be wowed from one of the biggest cast productions Pukekohe Performing Arts has created.

“It is very exciting to bring the NZ Premiere of Madagascar Jr to Pukekohe.” says Diretor Hayley. The cast have been working very hard. It will be our best youth production to date and you will not be disappointed!”

From all original costumes designed from scratch and a cast of fifty of Franklin’s talented youngsters, Madagascar is a larger than life production, both on and off stage.

Production Manager Sharnie Carlyle says in addition to the show’s cast, there is a team of two choreographers and twenty volunteers working behind the scenes making sets, costumes, promoting, organizing to help make the production a roaring success.

“This is a huge production and all fifty of our cast are under eighteen. There is a lot of work that has gone into this and the kids are loving it and having a ball!” says Sharnie.

At seventeen, Brooke Wisnewski is one of the oldest in the cast and plays the smart and resourceful, Gloria the Hippo.

Brooke, who has been acting since she was nine, says the three-day a week rehearsal was intense but loves being a part of her ‘theatre family’.

“It’s tiring, but worth it, I think everyone will love it!” says Brooke.

Brooke says her character Gloria is sassy and a mother to all the animals, traits she sees in herself.

“She’s very much like me, because I mother everyone! So, its great to play a version of me, but as a hippo.”

For thirteen-year old Azura McKenzie, this will be her first show with Pukekohe Performing Arts, playing the multiple roles of a lioness, a server and a lemur. Azura has been acting since she was four and says it has been a wonderful experience.

“It’s been full on with rehearsals and everyone has been working really hard, so it’s all positive. The little kids (in the production) are crazy! But you get along with everyone because we all love what we are doing.”

The musical adventure of a lifetime and one not to be missed!

Madagascar will open in July from the 6th-14th at the Pukekohe Performing Arts Theatre with tickets on sale from June.