Rotorua Musical Theatre is inviting locals to escape the 'zoo' of life and join them on a transatlantic musical adventure.

More than 58 children aged between 10 to 18 years, from most Rotorua schools, will play the outlandish characters based off the DreamWorks movie Madagascar.

Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR follows the well-known characters Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip Hippo and the plotting penguins, as they escape from their home in New York's Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien's Madagascar.

The Broadway Junior shows are specifically written for students to perform and Madagascar Jr director Natasha Benfell said the previous show, Shrek Jnr, was a huge success.

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"It has been amazing to watch their confidence grow since auditions and through rehearsals. [The children] are learning new skills and developing friendships through the shared experience of collaborating on this show."

The shows are run in partnership with Rotorua Lakes Council and the manager of the Energy Events Centre Joelene Elliott can't wait for the season to begin.

"I have got all my Christmas presents sorted as I will be buying Madagascar vouchers for all my nieces and nephews."

The show is on from Januray 10 to 20 at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Rotorua schools involved
St Mary's Catholic School
Western Heights High School
Rotorua Girls' High School
Rotorua Boys' High School
John Paul College
Malfroy Primary School
Chapman College
Ngongotaha Primary School
Lynmore Primary School
Mokoia intermediate
Rotorua Intermediate
Rotorua Lakes High School

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