At the Central Park Zoo, Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe prepare for another day of visitors while the Penguins plan their escape ("It’s Showtime"). Zookeeper Zoe, Zookeeper Zeke and Zookeeper Zelda rev up the crowd. Marty, feeling down about being trapped in the zoo, daydreams about what life would be like on the outside ("Wild and Free"). The other animals throw Marty a surprise birthday party, but, when he shares his wish to go to the wild, they burst his bubble by telling him that he’s crazy. After the other animals leave, Alex sticks around to cheer up his buddy ("Best Friends"), and talk him out of leaving. Despite the pep talk, Marty escapes from the zoo.
Alex, Gloria and Melman scour the city in search of their friend. Once they are reunited, everyone tries to remain calm, despite the commotion of the city and the threat of capture by Police Officer 1, Police Officer 2 and Animal Control Officers ("Relax, Be Cool, Chill Out"). Tranquilizer shots bring the adventure to an end ("Grand Central"), and the animals fall asleep. When they awaken, the Zoosters, Mason and the Penguins are trapped in crates on a ship bound for Africa. The Penguins take control of the ship and steer wildly, causing the other animals’ crates to fall overboard. Unaware, the Penguins set off for Antarctica ("Penguins’ Sea Shanty").
The Zoosters reunite on land, suspecting that they have been moved to the San Diego Zoo. After saving a lemur from the Foosa – catlike, carnivorous creatures – the gang is welcomed to Madagascar by a herd of Lemurs and the illustrious King Julien the Thirteenth ("Welcome to Me!"), who gets the party started ("I Like to Move It"). As everyone gets acquainted, King Julien hatches a plan to make friends with the newcomers so that the herd will continue to be protected from the Foosa. Seaweed on a stick is the only food that the Lemurs have to offer their guests, but they provide them a comfortable place to sleep. Everyone is content as they drift off to sleep, except for Alex, whose appetite was not satisfied by the seaweed ("Steak").
Meanwhile, the Penguins reach Antarctica ("Sea Shanty – Reprise") but promptly turn around when they realize that it is not the paradise they expected. When Alex, Melman, Gloria and Marty wake the next day, it appears that Marty’s birthday wish has come true ("Living in Paradise"). However, things take a turn when Alex’s natural instincts and hunger begin to surface. Worried that he might hurt his friends, Alex leaves.
The Penguins arrive with the ship, and Marty sneaks away to find Alex in foosa territory ("Foosa Hungry"). Alex warns Marty to go away, but Marty refuses ("Best Friends – Reprise"). As the Foosa surround Marty, Alex hatches a plan. The others arrive just in time to help scare the Foosa away ("The King of Madagascar"). Everyone celebrates: the Lemurs are safe, the friends are reunited and the Penguins have the ship to take everyone home ("Together Forever"). One last song ("Move It – Reprise"), and the journey to Madagascar is complete!
Alex, the lion, is the main attraction at the Central Park Zoo and undoubtedly “The King of New York City.” He’s a fun-loving fella whose devotion to steak is matched only by his devotion to his friends. Great singer and actor but most importantly, someone who has that magnetic quality of a showman.
Marty is a zebra with dreams of exploring beyond the confines of the Central Park Zoo and into the wild. Solid singer and actor who also possesses a sweet disposition. You want your audience to root for Marty. Should be a perfect complement to Alex.
Gloria, the hippopotamus, is a bold young lady with a maternal streak that shines when she’s with her three closest friends: Alex, Marty and Melman. This a great part for a performer who can act, sing and who can serve as the caretaker of the group.
Melman is a kind-hearted giraffe who is a bit of a hypochondriac. He’s always just a little bit nervous, but when it comes down to it, he’ll rise to the situation. Pick a performer who can sing well but more notably, can carve out this comedic part with strong acting choices.
The Penguins are a group of birds on a mission: bust out of the zoo and return home to Antarctica. Skipper serves as the captain of the group, giving orders with ease and command. Kowalski is Skipper’s second-in-command and a dutiful one at that. Rico is the brute of the group and can karate chop anything in sight. Private’s primary job in the group is to maintain the cute and fuzzy disguise. Cast these four primary roles with performers who work well together.
The Zookeepers introduce the crowds to all the sights and attractions of the Central Park Zoo. Zookeeper Zelda, Zookeeper Zeke and Zookeeper Zoe are perfect parts for proficient musicians and actors who can express a real excitement and passion for the animals. Zelda has a large solo in the opening.
Mason is a chimpanzee with a bone to pick: though highly intelligent, his species seems to get a bad reputation for being simpleminded, and he takes that quite personally. This is a great acting role for a performer who can make bold choices from the get-go.
The Lemurs are a wild band of creatures native to Madagascar trying desperately to avoid being eaten by the cat-like creatures called the Fossa. King Julien is their leader and the perfect part for the comedian of your company who can sing, dance, act and has intuitive comedic timing. Maurice is King Julien’s assistant who is not so welcoming to Madagascar’s new inhabitants. This part is perfect for an actor who can convey distrust and disinterest while still being a powerful second-in-command to King Julien. Mort is the littlest of the Lemurs, who can barely speak. Find a young, small, sweet performer who possesses a sense of comedy. Lynn, Lew, Lee and Lars are fun smaller roles for young actors with bold personalities.
The Fossa are cat-like predators with an appetite for Lemurs! The Fossa Leader is the biggest and baddest of the Fossa and is feared by most of the creatures in Madagascar. Cast an actor who has a great imagination for creating a larger-than-life creature who can strike fear with one look. For the rest of Fossa, choose an ensemble that can create a dominating pack of predators.
Servers #1, #2 and #3 are imagined servers in Alex’s dream when he starts to desire meat desperately! Cast three performers who can both dance and sing well and work as a unit well together.
The Lionesses are a group of lady lions and Alex’s background singers and dancers. These are great featured roles for dancers.
Camaraman, Candy Hammernose, Passerby, Old Lady, Police Officer #1 and #2, Animal Control Officers, Newspaper Man and Ship's Captain are all great cameo roles with speaking lines. Remember! No role is too small, and each one serves to create the larger picture of the world of Madagascar JR., so cast a colorful group of characters in these fun roles.
The New Yorkers and Animals are two separate ensemble groups that are essential for setting up the world of the Central Park Zoo. Remind these groups to be bold, specific and full of energy to kick off the show with a bang!