“Madagascar, Theatre for Young Audiences” opened Sept. 9 and continues at the Everett Theatre Saturday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday, Sept, 17 at 2 p.m.

Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo, and -- of course -- those hilarious, plotting penguins are invading the Middletown stage for the Everett Theatre’s first Playground Series show of the 2017-18 season.

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture of the same name, “Madagascar, Theatre for Young Audiences” follows these crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape the Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar where he serves as self-proclaimed head of the lemurs.

Alex is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends, Marty, Melman and Gloria have spent their whole lives in the zoo before an adoring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content with the arrangement, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape, with the help of the prodigious penguins, to explore the world.

Tyler Calder said playing Gloria is “super fun” because “she is full of sass and attitude, but can be sweet when she wants to be.”

Nick Quintana, playing the eccentric King Julien, stated that this “has to be one of the most fun and interesting shows I have ever done. My character is so fun as I get to use a crazy accent, and King Julien is subject to major mood changes.”

Director Jason Messinger, making his directorial debut at the Everett after spending the past year acting on its stage, said the “show is an upbeat, family friendly show with a very talented cast that is guaranteed to make you laugh. It's full of fun, excitement, and laughter.”

Chris Everett serves as musical director, and Mary Everett is the choreographer.

Kaci Gravatt, who plays several characters in the show and also serves as the show’s producer, agreed: “The whole show is a lot of fun, especially the music. The audience is sure to be tapping their toes and dancing in the aisles, and will probably need to buy the soundtrack once the songs end up stuck in their heads!”

Seven-year old Bealey Cate White, who plays the youngest lemur in the cast, believes that this show is “great for younger people who may be coming to see a live show for the first time,” though she concluded, “Bring the whole family!”

Show times & tickets

“Madagascar, Theatre for Young Audiences” opened Sept. 9 and continues at the Everett Theatre, 47 W. Main St., Saturday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. The show runs approximately an hour and a half.

All tickets are $8, available in advance on the Everett’s website or, if still available, at the box office on the day of the show.