The Fossa are coming! Look at Tyler Kennedy’s head!

If you’re a lover of animated films or animated films brought to Broadway or even if you’re just a fan of laughing your butt off, this review is for you.

Madagascar Live is for you.

First, we need to clear something up. Madagascar Live at the Benedum, which entertained an audience chock full of children last night, is NOT JUST FOR CHILDREN. It is for anyone who has seen Madagascar or wished to see it.

The proof is that I laughed harder than my son did at various parts.

The proof is in the fact that Tyler Kennedy, the young Penguin with no children, came to opening night with Mike Rupp and his children.

If it’s good enough for Tyler Kennedy, then my gosh, it should be good enough for you.

My thoughts:

1. The show pretty much sticks to the plot and visuals of the first Madagascar movie, right down to the hilarious monkey, the tranq-dart induced dream of Alex the Lion, his steak dream, the boat, the penguins bitch slapping the boat captain, Gloria’s HUGE ROUND BUTT, the little baby monkey thing in the salad bowl, the zebra butt-biting, the penguins landing in Antartica all WTF IS THIS FROZEN SHIT?!

An aside. The penguins don’t actually say, “WTF IS THIS FROZEN SHIT?”

They stick to the standard, “Well this sucks.”

2. The stage is incredible, with the island scenes so amazing and real they felt like they were in Blu-Ray 3D.  Really stunning.

3. Whoever it is that is performing the role of King Julian has clearly truly taken the time to study the animated King Julian and all of his hilarious mannerisms. Yes, I Like to Move It, Move It is a huge highlight and I have been singing it since last night.

4. I imagine when a person is trying to make a career of things for him or herself on Broadway, they envision the day they can say, “I’m playing Maria in West Side Story on Broadway,” or “I’m playing Danny in Grease on Broadway.” I imagine they don’t see themselves one day saying, “I’m on Broadway … I’m a fossa.” or “I’m on Broadway … I’m a dancing steak.” But those green-eye fossa (THE FOSSA ARE COMING!) and that dancing steak are wonderfully performed. Wonderfully executed. So so perfect in creating the feeling that you’re watching the original Madagascar movie being filmed live.  The actors should be proudly saying, “I’m a badass, green-eyed, hide yo baby monkeys, Broadway fossa!”

5. The ingenious way they do the boat scene, which sends the boxes tumbling into the water is just astounding. Must see.

6. Tyler Kennedy let Mike Rupp’s kids sit on his lap to see the show better. That is all.

7. Here is Mike Rupp, signing autographs, in all of his high-res, well-lit, super duper tricked out camera goodness:

You can practically see his pores! Photography skillz. I haz them.

Michelle from Burgh Baby sat DIRECTLY behind Tyler Kennedy. I told her to smell him and let me know, but she wouldn’t oblige. What good is sitting six inches from a famous athlete if you aren’t going to inhale?

I’d have smelled him. And then asked if I could sit in his lap for a better view.

8. The actor who plays the giraffe spends the entire show on stilts. And DANCES in them.

9. I am not making this up. There are two shows I’ve seen here in Pittsburgh that I would see again and again. Phantom of the Opera and this one. I’ve enjoyed all the others for sure, but once I’ve seen them, I don’t really feel the need to experience them again.

Not the case with Madagascar Live.  I would see it again for the amazing voice of Maurice. For the slapstick kung-fu penguins. For the little old lady with the big mean purse.

For the rectal thermometer spit-take.

Burgh Baby has details on a code to get a buy one get one free deal and she also has in her review, are you ready? ROTTEN PICTURES OF TYLER KENNEDY’S HEAD!

We are winners.

P.S. The Cultural Trust supplied me with tickets, but did not ask that I write anything in exchange for them. This is the fine print. Pretend it is in a smaller font than the rest of this post. Squint.


  1. Cassie
    February 4, 2011 5:45 pm

    That movie cracked my shit up and I’m 26. Something about David Schwimmer as the neurotic giraffe…that was casted perfectly. (Almost as fun as when they had him play the lame captain from Band of Brothers.)

    If I wasn’t about to give birth ANY DAY NOW, I’d totally go. And maybe bring my kids.

  2. Kathy
    February 4, 2011 6:00 pm

    And then asked if I could sit in his lap for a better view.

    I love you.


  3. Cheryl
    February 4, 2011 6:09 pm

    Well, I was kinda regretting that I promised to take my niece and nephew to this tomorrow morning. But now I’m rethinking my regret. (How often does THAT happen?) Thanks for the review. If I sit behind any famous athletes, I promise to scratch and sniff.

    Go, Stillers!!!!

  4. Burgh Baby
    February 4, 2011 6:14 pm

    Who says I didn’t smell his head? And his jacket? And the seat after he got up? Ummmm…

  5. Bitter
    February 5, 2011 2:06 am

    Thanks to you and Burgh Baby! I’m going to take my six year old daughter on Sunday. This is her first big theater experience and, because of the promo code, I was able to get us orchestra seats. I’m so excited to see her little face light up! Thanks again!

  6. CrashJK
    February 5, 2011 11:11 am

    Hopefully none of the Pittsburgh Penguins who attended were INJURED …as these guys appear to be extremely fragile these days…lord, we will ever see SID ??? And Geno looks out again…

    Lord, tomorrow’s game against the Caps is gonna be ugly…Let’s Go ‘Guins.

    fwiw – the Madagascar Penguins and King Julian (plus Mort and Morris) could be the funniest comedy team I’ve seen in YEARS !!! Lose those characters

  7. bucdaddy
    February 5, 2011 11:57 am

    Honey, I already was. At my age, I have to squint to read billboards and highway signs.

  8. Bitter
    February 7, 2011 12:06 am

    How about I donate more money for kids for you to NOT write a Super Bowl WTRT.

  9. BeauJacques
    February 7, 2011 12:15 am

    Ditto what #9, Bitter said.

  10. JennyMoon
    February 7, 2011 2:49 pm

    It really stinks that the super bowl was cancelled again this year. They outta check into that.

  11. Karen
    February 7, 2011 4:30 pm

    Just had to submit a comment to get “Wrath” off the page!

  12. Karen
    February 7, 2011 4:32 pm

    Damn, need one more to do the trick. Bam! You’re outta here! (awkward kung fu moves!)

  13. Dave
    February 7, 2011 4:35 pm

    I keep reloading the page for the ranting to begin. I just want to see someone else who is as upset as I am. :)