By Lance Avery Morgan Photography Courtesy of ZACH, Kirk R. Tuck
What happens when a bad movie becomes a hit musical? Xanadu landed on Broadway awhile back. The original film, as you might recall, was an over-the-top, roller-skating musical from the high-camp 1980’s and starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. It’s not the usual boy-meets-girl-on roller skates theme, though. Here, a beautiful muse descends from the heavens of Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach and inspires a struggling artist to create his biggest dream of creating the first roller disco called Xanadu. And, frolic-on-wheels ensues for the cast of characters to realize their heartfelt dreams of rolling into sparkly success.
The film and play has been resuscitated to another level at Austin’s own ZACH Theatre this Fall at Texas’ longest running theatre, in its last season before the new Topfer Theatre opens.
ZACH’s Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley indeed has another hit on says: “I’ve never been a fan of the film, but I found this stage parody absolutely irresistible on Broadway with its very funny, campy Douglas Carter Beane script that has its tongue planted firmly in cheek.” He goes on to say, “Jill Blackwood is perfectly cast in this affectionate send-up of Olivia Newton-John — vocally the resemblance is astonishing and she is hilarious. It is destined to be one of our most fun and entertaining shows ever and is a great way to celebrate the last Mainstage season on the Kleberg Stage before the Topfer Theatre opens with RAGTIME.”
ZACH’s production features an all-star cast of Jill Blackwood, Matthew Redden, Rick Roemer, Lara Wright, Michelle Alexander, Roberto Araujo, Beth Koepp, Jennifer Young, Tyler Jones, Charissa Allen and Josh Wechsler; with Allen Robertson, piano; Bob Overton, guitar; and Arnie Yañez, percussion.
We couldn’t agree more with Steakley’s assessment, so run, don’t walk to get your tickets to this tour–de-farce Xanadu.
More about the play:
XANADU, The Musical
Book by DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE
Music and Lyrics by JEFF LYNNE and JOHN FARRAR
Based on the Universal Pictures film
Screenplay by RICHARD DANUS and MARC RUBEL
Directed and Choreographed by NICK DEMOS (director of The Drowsy Chaperone at ZACH)
Music Direction by ALLEN ROBERTSON
XANADU opened Saturday, July 21.
GLBT Wilde Party with pre-show mixer is Thursday, August 2nd.
Performances continue through September 2, 2012.
Performances: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
To order tickets, call 512-476-0541 ext. 1 or visit www.zachtheatre.org.