ECTC stages 2 educational musical comedies in April

Special to Gannett
Clara Taylor (from left), Will Mustain, Rylan Shaffer, and Ava Moreland in "Mary Poppins."
Zoe Fisher and Harper Akins in "Madagascar."

MIRAMAR BEACH — Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) is putting the “m” in musical comedy by staging two educational musical comedy performances in April.

“Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.” will be staged in two locations. Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10 at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at ECTC’s performance space at 560 Grand Boulevard in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in Miramar Beach. and Saturday, April 24, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m. at Florida Chautauqua Theater in DeFuniak Springs.

Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto your stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. 

With book by Kevin Del Aguila, original music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan, this adventurous musical comedy production is performed by our fantastic education program students. The “big player” cast includes Mary-Louise McGhee (Alex), Gabriella Hawk (Marty), Zetta Skiles (Gloria) and Bernadette Franklin (Melman). The “little” cast includes Archer Hale (Alex), John Kerrigan (Marty), Piper Dobbins (Gloria) and Maggie Kerrigan (Melman).

“Disney’s Mary Poppins Jr.” will be staged Friday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 17, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. “Disney’s Mary Poppins Jr.” is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs and crowd pleasing dance numbers all performed by our talented ECTC thespian teens.

With book by Julian Fellowes, original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, this show is directed by Phillip Padgett. 

The cast features more than 50 ECTC thespians divided into two companies. Among the cast members are Claire Taylor and Ava Moreland as Mary Poppins and Will Mustain and Rylan Shaffer as Bert. The Banks children are performed by Duncan Rivard and Sean Rushford (Michael), Tabitha Sheldon and Selah Metzger (Jane), Beckett Rhea and Tate Bailey (George) and Ryhan Heller and Julianna Pace (Winifred).

“Watching their confidence and skill level grow as they take the stage and make it their own is a magical experience as an educator,” says Anna Fisher ECTC co-founder/associate artistic and education director. “They are learning so much more than singing and dancing — they are learning teamwork, leadership, communication skills, and perseverance.”

Tickets for ECTC Kids Program are $12 in advance and $15 at the door; ECTC Teen Program tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Ages 4 and under are free, must sit on an adult's lap.