Junior high musical stars hope to dazzle senior citizens in Edmonton

Crazy for You plays Jan 23-25 at Victoria School of the Arts.

Sequins, feathers, jazz hands, tap dancing, lights and show tunes. Nothing less would be expected from Victoria School of the Arts’ newest musical theatre production hitting the stage this week.

The show, starring students from the Edmonton junior high, brings young energy to an old production.

Crazy for You is a classic musical opening Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Eva O’Howard Theatre.

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Director Natalie Witte describes the show as a classic love story about Bobbi Child, an aspiring star who must win the heart of Polly Baker through song and dance.

As a Gershwin, the show exemplifies the music, comedy and 1930s styling of the director by the same name (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and music by George Gershwin).

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“It’s a really great Gershwin – feel good, up beat kind of musical theatre romp,” Witte said.

Five performances will take place this week, where both student groups and groups from seniors’ residents have been invited.

The nostalgic show tunes of earlier days is what inspired Witte to invite assisted-living residents to the afternoon performances.

The director thinks her kids have really “[captured] the music of their youth from the earlier part of the 20th Century.”

For retired school teacher Helmut Nikolai, seeing this production is extra special.

Two of his grandchildren are dancing in the production. As a former staff member, and grandfather to current students, he has come to value the highly professional performances and production put on by Victoria School of Arts.

Nikolai grew up with the music from this classic and enjoys seeing the students bring it to life.

“It’s so good to see that the young people are picking up on that classical theme.”

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The cast consists of 41 Grade 6-9 students and a crew of 16 Grade 10-12 students, along with a professional design team and director. The students have been working to pull this show together since mid-September and their hard work is about to pay off.

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 “To have a performance like this from junior high school is awesome – it’s just incredible,” Nikolai said.

With plenty of tickets left, the Crazy for You cast and crew are encouraging all members of Edmonton’s senior community to come out.

The matinee show opens Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Eva O’Howard Theatre. An afternoon and evening performance will be held at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Jan. 24 and 25.

Tickets are available at the door or you can call the box office at (780) 392-3534.

— With files from Harley Burland

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