Mountain View students get sneak preview

Madagascar Jr. starts with a bang as each character announces themselves in the opening number. Mountain View Elementary students sat in rows this week on the multipurpose room floor and watched the story unfold with smiles on their faces.

In the song, the audience is introduced to the members of Central Park Zoo: Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, Melvin the Giraffe, Skipper, Private, Kowalski and Rico the Penguins, and Alex the Lion.

The plot kicks off as Marty expresses his desire to escape the zoo and experience the wild. Despite Alex’s protests, Marty decides to make a break for it and leave. In an attempt to bring him back, Alex, Gloria, and Melvin set off as well, and while they do find Marty, animal control catches them before they can return unnoticed.

While the preview of Claremont High School’s newest production ends there, the singing and dancing exhibited in this small sample promise an action packed and entertaining show.

Each punchline was a hit with the crowd of students as they laughed and turned to their friends. The kids were enjoying the show so much that it took the help of the teachers to quiet them down after every joke.

The high school students putting on this show are a part of CHS’s children’s theater class, and have specifically tailored the show to appeal to a younger audience.

Destiny Kirven, a senior who plays Gloria the Hippo, really enjoys children’s theater.

“You have to be a lot more animated and interactive,” she said.

And they follow through on that concept as characters ran through the audience and asked questions that the kids were eager to answer.

Kaelyn Kilpatrick, a senior who plays Alex the Lion, said Madagascar is popular because, “kids already know the show cause of the movie, so it’s nice for them to see it in a different medium.”

Even though the show targets a younger audience, the large dance numbers and exciting characters are something that can be enjoyed by anyone who goes to see the show.

In addition to the preview, the actors taught the crowd a dance from the show. The auditorium erupted into joyful shouts after learning each new dance move.

When the entire dance had been taught, the actors invited some students up to the stage to dance in front of their classmates, an activity that was received with much enthusiasm.

Learning the dance was the favorite part of the preview for nine-year-old Amaya Rocha, whose favorite character is Alex the Lion. For Isabelle Nateras, age nine, she loved the song “I Like to Move it” and her favorite character was Melvin the Giraffe.

Principal of Mountain View Rria Cruz-Soto loves having the high school students perform for her students.

“It is a great experience for them to see potential opportunities at their high school,” she said. “It also shows them that school is fun!”

Her favorite part of the show was the penguins, which she thought were comical.

Madagascar Jr. plays Friday, April 19 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $9 on the CHS theater department’s website:, or at the box office on the night of the show for $10, although there is no guarantee that tickets will be available at the box office.

The show takes place at the Don F. Fruechte Theater at 1601 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont.

—Eleanor Corbin


[Editor’s note: Eleanor Corbin, a junior at Vivian Webb School, interned for two weeks over her spring break. Eleanor, who will be 17 at the end of the month, is a columnist for the Webb Canyon Chronicle, an online student publication.

What sparked her interest in journalism is two-fold.

“I read a lot of newspapers, she said. “I’m the debate captain, so I’m really into politics and I also love writing—journalism is the perfect middle ground to combine two things I like to do.”

We’re happy to share that Eleanor has accepted our offer to return this summer to write for the annual Almanac.—KD]


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