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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy photo More than 30 kids from the ages of 8 to 18 will peform in Trike Theatre's production of "Madagascar: A Musical Adventure" this weekend at the Arts Center of the Ozarks.

Fans of Disney's "Madagascar" are in for a real treat. Trike Theatre and a talented troupe of young actors will translate the magic of the movie to the stage when they present "Madagascar: A Musical Adventure" this weekend at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale.

The performances will be the fruit of three weeks of joyful labor through Trike's summer production camp.



WHEN — 7 p.m. today & Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday

WHERE — Arts Center of the Ozarks, 214 S. Main St. in Springdale

COST — $12-$15

INFO — 751-5441

"We had auditions, and we have over 30 kids involved," says Julie Gabel, the production's director. "The kids are the ages 8 to 18 -- we want to make this available to as many kids as possible. You've got older, more experienced actors who are great role models for the younger ones. And there are several for whom this will be their first time on stage. But they've been so wonderful -- I haven't heard a 'no' or 'I can't' or 'It's too hard' through the whole process. These kids have just buckled down and gotten it done."

"Getting it done" includes working hard on embodying the physicality of the many animals in the madcap show and learning the choreography to the musical numbers.

"The music, to me, is part of what makes this show so attractive," says Gabel. "The songs are so catchy and fun. It's all about celebration and friendship and following dreams. So it has a good message, as well."

Gabel says the kids' 9 p.m. to 4 p.m. days are packed with activities, all aimed at honing their skills for the final performances.

"We start each day talking about our goals, and then we finish up the day with a reflection on what we learned," she says. "In the afternoons, we work on choreography and blocking. We have a nice formula going.

"All of the kids are so supportive and kind, and they're making friends," Gabel continues. "The reflections at the end of the day, so many times, are about how they've made new friends."

-- Lara Hightower

NAN What's Up on 07/27/2018

Print Headline: 'Madagascar' All About Learning New Things, Finding New Friends

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