The World Goes ‘Round

WAAPA The World Goes 'Round photo by Stephen Heath 2The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) third-year musical theatre students, opened the year with the musical revue The World Goes ‘Round.  This is the first time in my memory they have performed a revue rather than a musical.

The World Goes ‘Round showcases the extraordinary musical catalogue of the American songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. This musical duo has written some of the world’s most recognisable musicals including Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Cabaret and New York, New York.

With the review relying heavily on individual solo performances it was going to take a confident, competent, well disciplined group to successfully master this one. And that is exactly what I witnessed Friday night.

This group of third year musical theatre students, under the direction of Cameron Mitchell, performed a highly polished production which saw them guide the audience through some of Kander and Ebb’s great classics.

There was not a weak moment in the performance.  It was full of laughs, strong ballads and classic moments.

And let’s not forget a lot of these renditions were pitting themselves against well known versions from award winning cast albums and such greats as Liza Minelli, Ann Reinking, Babe Neuwirth and Joel Grey.

From the opening moment Ellen Ebbs entered the stage to perform The World Goes ‘Round she commanded attention. With a crisp, clear, pure voice she set the tone for the evening.

WAAPA The World Goes 'Round photo by Stephen HeathThe entire cast performed all the classic ballads throughout the show with poise, grace and emotion. To single out certain performances is difficult among such a talented group.

Geena Hutton’s version of Ring them Bells, from Liza with a Z was strong and entertaining, while Jake Binn’s number Sara Lee was performed with great comic timing.

Other highlights included the powerful Kiss of the Spider Woman performed by Harrison Ion and Emma Caporaso, while  Lucy Lalor and Jayda D’Agostino performed a version of Class that was controlled and charming.

The harmonious blend of ballads Only Love, Marry Me and a Quiet Thing, performed by Jayda D’Agostino, Sam Austin and Sophia Matthews was impressively controlled and commanding.

The choreography by Cameron Mitchell was tight, slick and polished and the cast managed to dance around the tight stage without colliding into each other.

There were some hilarious sequences including Coffee in a Cardboard Cup and The Rink dance sequence. The later saw the male cast members trying to timidly roller skate around the stage, which added to the comedy of the number.

The World Goes ‘Round was a thoroughly entertaining evening performed by an amazing cast. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this talented group of students.

The World Goes ‘Round
Roundhouse Theatre – Edith Cowan University, Bradford Street, Mount Lawley
Performance: Friday 22 March 2024
Season continues to 27 March 2024

Images: The World Goes ‘Round – photos by Stephen Heath

Review: Craig Dalglish