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BWW Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at His Majesty's Theatre


Audience goes crazy for WAAPA's performance of Crazy For You

BWW Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at His Majesty's Theatre

The disappointment of WAAPA's 2020 mid-year musical being cancelled was but a distant memory as they roared back with an energetic rendition of CRAZY FOR YOU. This is WAAPA's first production to be staged at His Majesty's Theatre, and the cast and crew showcased the full suite of their talents in this up-beat and entertaining production.

Whilst one might expect the up-and-comers of musical theatre to possess a fair heap of talent,

BWW Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at His Majesty's Theatre
James MacAlpine as Bobby with
Chloe Malek as Polly

the cast for CRAZY FOR YOU truly were outstanding. Chloe Malek was irresistible as Polly, showing off a true triple-threat skillset. It's always a daunting task to sing a song that the audience knows (CRAZY FOR YOU has several well known songs in it), but Malek gave as good a performance as one will ever see when singing Someone To Watch Over Me and Embraceable You in what were two more memorable parts of the show. Equally impressive was James MacAlpine as Bobby. Bobby's story arc is humourous but frustrating at times, however MacAlpine's portrayal was warm and endearing throughout. There was a strong response to his singing of Nice Work If You Can Get It, not only for his excellent singing, but also for the way he'd brought his character to that point in the show.

The ensemble was full of excellent performances, and it's hard to single out many others especially in such a large cast. Kyle Hall was a solid Bela Zangler, and the scene where Bela and Bobby mirror each other was executed perfectly in a particularly humourous moment. Hall's comic timing was superb throughout but really came to the fore in that sequence. Juno Sertorio as Bela's love interest Tess was another outstanding performance, and Sertorio and Hall seemed to have genuine chemistry in their on again, off again love story. Another love story, between Irene (Amber Scates) and Lank (Thomas Lerk) leant more towards the comical, and both executed their parts perfectly to draw the audience in and keep them laughing.

BWW Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at His Majesty's Theatre

A great deal of the creative work was done by 3rd year production and design students, and they too deserve a mention. Of particular note is the work of costume designer Elyse McAuliffe; not only were the costumes in CRAZY FOR YOU perfect, but it was impossible to avoid the audience's positive response as the costuming dominated the conversations as the audience left. The entire back stage crew, however, are deserving of praise, as no part of the show had a 'student' feel to it. Any one of the cast or production crew could slot straight into any major show, it seems.

BWW Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at His Majesty's Theatre

Whilst the students are the focus of the show, director Crispin Taylor deserves praise for the work he's done making the show bright and energetic. The show is fairly faithful to the original production, however the cast of talented students were still able to bring their own creative flair to the stage. Jayne Smeulders choereography is outstanding, particularly given the large ensemble and non-stop nature of the show. The layered set designed by Matthew Raven sets each scene perfectly whilst allowing for quick and easy transitions. The 31 piece orchestra (also made up of students) were outstanding under Tim Cunniffe's musical direction, and the lighting designed by Lucy Birkinshaw suited the sets perfectly, with the lighting being all the scenery there was in some scenes.

What's most memorable about CRAZY FOR YOU is the endings. Act I finishes with the town singing I Got Rhythm, another well known song that is overflowing with energy and enthusiasm. Similarly, the finale is a perfect ending to the show with the whole cast combining to not only close off the story but to put a smile on the faces in the audience. The two showpiece finales would just about be worth the tickets alone, however the entire show is full of outstanding acting, excellent singing, and energetic and well executed dancing, not to mention the fact that it is a true comedy. One would hardly realise that most of the work for CRAZY FOR YOU was done by students, and if this cast and crew are the future of Australian theatre, then the future is bright.

CRAZY FOR YOU is at His Majesty's Theatre until June 17. Tickets through Perth Theatre Trust

Photos thanks to Stephen Heath Photography/WAAPA

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