Summer School Playhouse Presents “Madagascar, Jr.,” July 8-10

There’s no better way to get back to our non-pandemic life than by taking in a performance of “Madagascar, Jr.” by the Whitewater Summer School Playhouse in the Whitewater High School auditorium on Thursday through Saturday, July 8 and 9 at 7:00 p.m. and July 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Look for cast and crew members in the Fourth of July parade.

Seats ($10 adults and $5 students) for the performances can be reserved by calling 262-472-8178.  Tickets are also available one hour before the performance.

Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto your stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime.  Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, “Madagascar, Jr.”follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.  Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, “Madagascar Jr.” will leave audiences with no choice but to “Move It, Move It!”

As a bonus, there is a lot that the kids can learn from this fun musical. Apart from the many humorous jokes, the adorable characters, and an entertaining story, “Madagascar, Jr.” offers kids the opportunity to pick up a lesson or two about the value of friendship, of sticking together even in troubling times, of adjustments, and of never giving up hope. 

Under the direction of Jim McCulloch, the production features a cast of students ranging from 6th graders in their first performance on stage through Whitewater High School Class of 2021 graduates with extensive experience in theater.  Musical direction is provided by Liz Elliott, Kat Dunham leads the talented stage crew, and Tony Hansen works his audio magic.  WHS Class of 2021 graduate Carter Waelchli, who will be majoring in theater education, serves as student director.

Taking to the stage are actors Deven Bawden, Chacha Binagi, Margaret Brown, Payton Bunger, Ayden Clark, Isabella Cohen, Lucy Davis, Danny Fuller, Charolotte Hajewski, Nina Heim, Maggie Jay, Midi Kapfer, Josh Kirley, Ameera Lin, Ilana Lothes, Hailey Peterson, Chloe Prince, Lauren Rollette, Cole Schlicher, Skylar Staebler, Haley Street, Madison Strickler, Alex Sullivan, Ava Van Daele, Anderson Waelchli, Marco Wence, Cosette Wildermuth-Breitzman, Elora Wildermuth-Breitzman, Ella Willman, Xavier Zei, Zoe Zei, and Matt Zingsheim.

Members of the stage and technical crews – so instrumental in making the magic of theater – include Ghati Binagi, Alejandra Diaz-Gallagos, Emerson Dunham, Kara Long, Abigail Olson, Lucy Troxel, Sami Van Daele, and Emma Weigel.

Lucy Davis, who will be entering 8th grade in the fall, is cast in the role of a reporter, Candy Hammernose.  Davis performed in the spring in a virtual show, “10 Ways to Survive Life in Quarantine” and considers her role in “Madagascar, Jr.” as so very different because it is in person with a live audience.

Davis added, “I think that my character’s favorite ice cream flavor would be Rocky Road because she’s a little bit rocky but she’s all good.  Her favorite season would probably be fall because of the colors changing on the leaves of the trees.”

One of the “under the radar” dimensions of this show that offers a good example of the many ways that theatrical productions don’t happen by magic was shared by Stage Manager Kat Dunham.

She said, “With the pandemic resulting in soaring lumber prices and increased materials costs, we’ve had to pull pieces and scavenge from previous shows in order to create scenery for this show.  Every single piece you’ll see on stage has been repurposed from another show.”

“But, doing the best we can with what we have and pulling together for the common purpose of putting on a great show is what theatre is all about.”

Dunham added, “I’m impressed with how well this crew has taken that to heart and I’m so proud of all of them for coming in and putting in a solid day’s work every day to meet the production levels we’re known for.”

Source: press release

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