MADCAP WORLD Derek Barnes II (from left), Denzel Perez, Ashley Maupin and Colin Ellis star in San Benito Stage Company’s Madagascar Jr. Photo: Jenny Arbizu

What could possibly happen when a lion, zebra, hippo and giraffe all escape from the Central Park Zoo in New York City?

Well, a handful of hilarity and a whole lot of madness to ensue, for sure.

And San Benito Stage Company has a hand in bringing this entertaining story of Madagascar Jr. to Hollister audiences, opening on Friday, May 3 at the Sacred Heart Parish School gymnasium.

“The kids are doing fantastic,” says co-producer Adriana Ferry of the 37 cast members, ages 6 to 14 years old. “The cast is absolutely ready for opening night, and they will be practicing to perfect their skills for opening night all the way through closing night. The energy is high.”

Based on the DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr. follows Alex the Lion (Denzel Perez), Marty the Zebra (Derek Barnes II), Melman the Giraffe (Colin Ellis), Gloria the Hippo (Ashley Maupin), and a group of plotting penguins on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s (Abbey Alford) Madagascar.  

Co-producer Denise McNett says “audiences should be ready to ‘move it, move it’ with the 27 lemurs shaking their tails on stage. The actors have been working very hard on creating the best show.”

The production is directed by Ken Powell, choreographed by Allison Barnes and assistant choreographer Bridget Murphy, and vocal directed by Isabelle Menez.

With this being San Benito Stage Company’s first production since the nonprofit organization left the Granada Theatre in February, Ferry and McNett are both thankful for the team of parents and volunteers who helped bring the mobile theater to the Sacred Heart Parish School gymnasium.

“We are learning to travel with our stage set, props, and costumes,” Ferry says. “Fortunately, we have a fantastic group of parents and volunteers who are helping us adjust.”

McNett says a special community service night show will be performed on May 11.

“Discount tickets will be available for all community members who come in uniform, school spirit wear, or camp T-shirts,” she says.

The discount price of $10 is available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 100 scouts, 4-H members, active or retired military, health care providers, and first responders.

“Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.” runs from May 3 to May 18 at Sacred Heart Parish School Gymnasium at 670 College St. in Hollister.  Tickets are available for presale at Postal Graphics or by calling 636.0122. Purchase online at or at the door. Tickets are $17 for adults; $14 seniors/students; $55 Group 4-Pack (advanced purchase only).

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