Friday, March 25, 2011

Madagascar Live

We took the monkeys to the Orpheum for the Madagascar Live show earlier this evening and really enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure we never made it through the actual movie--at least in the theater. I distinctly remember Satchel, Jiro, and their cousin running around the screen at Studio on the Square when we still lived behind it. (And when they still showed kids movies--a.k.a. the time before the Paradiso.) I'm sure the kids have seen the movie at school or somewhere, but the story was only half familiar to me.

I was worried that we were going to be late, but we got there in time to get some candy and get in our seats before they started exactly at 6pm. There were plenty of people streaming in for the first 30 minutes or so which was distracting, but considering how many little kids were in attendance, I can see why so many people were running late. Regardless, it was a packed house.

They gave out free lemur glasses to all the kids and there was plenty of cute merch for sale. I swept the monkeys past the merch section as quickly as possible. "I want a stuffed animal!" Jiro screeched as I nudged him towards our seats.

The costumes were really cute. I especially liked the giraffe, who we later found out was a hypochongiraffe. The hippo was spunky and the zebra was funny. And uh, Alex the lion was really hot. Yes, I said hot.

The main plot lined centered on them escaping from the zoo, which I totally support. (I don't actually support animals running wild on the subway, but I do support them being in their natural habitat.) When the animals end up in Madagascar through a series of unlikely events, they don't know how to survive in the wild. They mourn the fact that there are no people there to feed them. It's kind of sad, actually. Three of the four main characters are vegetarians and quickly adapt, but the lion needs meat. (He actually sings a whole song about steak.) Spoiler alert: the lion soon wants to eat his friend the zebra. They neatly wrap it up with an overarching message of friendship being stronger than the lion's natural instincts. The penguins come to save them and take them home, but they leave it ambiguous as to whether they will actually go back to the zoo since the lion discovers sushi.

So yeah, you might want to sub in some actual facts for the older kids when the show is over.

The story moved quickly and provided lots of laughs. King Julien was really hilarious and entertaining. He pretty much dominated the second act.

The songs were catchy and I saw several kids singing along--especially when they played "I like to move it move it." At the end, they even encouraged everyone to get up and dance. I think the monkeys were on the higher end age group, but I'd say the show would be fun for ages 2-10.

The show lasted 90 minutes and had an intermission. It was the perfect length. We probably could have waited and had dinner afterwards.

Tickets are pretty affordable ($15-$38) and there are five more shows this weekend (Saturday 11am, 2pm, 5pm and Sunday 2pm and 5pm). If we end up with rain all weekend, Madagascar Live just might save the day.

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