Vail Performing Arts Academy presents ‘Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.,’ Aug. 3-5 | VailDaily.com

Vail Performing Arts Academy presents ‘Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.,’ Aug. 3-5

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It's a zoo out there, and it's coming to a stage near you.

Celebrating 24 years of children's performing arts, Vail Performing Arts Academy presents "Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr." starring 60 local student actors and running Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5, at Battle Mountain High School.

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, this frolic of a show follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin' friends 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.

Directed and choreographed by Colin Meiring, this year's cast of high-energy, talented youngsters ranges in age from 8 to 16. The students have been working hard for the past month, honing their animal characters, learning to sing like Broadway belters and dance like Usher.

Music director Melinda Carlson said she feels the cast this year is special.

"The fact that they are quite young and can pull off comedy and create such a quality production is really impressive," she said.

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"The talent and energy in this show will thrill the audience," said Maria Barry, co-choreographer for the show. "I have so enjoyed working with such enthusiastic children."

Eleven-year-old Hayden DiVenere plays the lead, Alex the lion.

"I get to do a lot more as a lead. It is super challenging and I like that," he said.

Co-star lead Ceyna Dawson plays Marty the zebra.

"I love this part because I can really express myself and it is exciting to become such a fun character," she said. "VPAA has given me the chance to be in multiple performances, which helps me be a better performer, as well as make new friends."

The staff that makes the magic happen on stage also includes Annah Scully, Vail Performing Arts Academy founder and executive producer.

"VPAA is blessed with an amazing group of devoted professionals and volunteers who give their all to the students," she said. "We are also delighted when former VPAA alumni return to help and mentor. This year, our student assistants, Harry Jaffe and Aidan Woodworth, were awesome worker-bees, incredibly inspirational and totally hilarious.

"Dang, we have so much fun!"

For more information and to sign up for the Vail Performing Arts Academy fall revue, visit vpaa.org or email annah@vpaa.org.

If you go …

What: Vail Performing Arts Academy presents “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.”

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5; doors open one hour before performance time each night.

Where: Battle Mountain High School auditorium, 151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards.

Cost: $10 general admission at the door, or purchase tickets online at vpaa.org in advance of the show (a $2.61 service fee is applied to all ticket sales).

More information: Visit vpaa.org or email Annah Scully, Vail Performing Arts Academy founder and executive producer, at annah@vpaa.org.