Xanadu

The movie was a box office flop. Is the musical better, or worse?

By Andrew Andrews

Tezz Yancey and Lucy Rhoades in Xanadu by Douglas Carter Beane, Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, directed by Robin Campbell. Original photos by Ann Kielbasa.

Sonny Malone is a struggling artist, creating elaborate chalk drawings on the streets of Venice, California in the early 1980s.

When Clio, the Greek muse of history, sees Sonny penning a suicide note, she decides to intervene in the form of a roller-skating bombshell from Australia named Kira.

Believing Sonny can regain his inspiration by opening an abandoned theatre as a roller disco, Kira convinces Sonny to meet with its owner: a musician-turned-real-estate-mogul named Maguire.

Maguire agrees to give the duo just one day to restore the building and make it a success, or he’ll bulldoze everything tomorrow to replace it with luxury condos.

Based on the 1980 box office flop starring Olivia Newton-John that eventually became a cult classic for its mediocrity, this 2007 parody musical was a Broadway success for four months, winning the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and Drama Desk Award for Best Book.

Andrew Burton Kelley and Julia Hajjar (not shown) join Ricky Dobbs, Amber Mawande-Spytek, Rachel Pantazis, Rhoades, Julie Galorenzo, Patrick MacLennan and Rachel Pantazis to complete the cast.

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