A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star
NEW YORK —Spring on Broadway hasn’t even started, but the first musical of the 2007-08 season already is in sight.
“Xanadu,” based on the campy 1980 film about a Greek muse who helps a young man build a disco roller rink, will open June 26 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Preview performances begin May 23.
The musical will star Kerry Butler as Kira, the role played in the movie by Olivia Newton-John. The film also featured Michael Beck and the legendary Gene Kelly.
No other casting for the musical was announced but the show has a book by Douglas Carter Beane, author of this season’s “The Little Dog Laughed.” It will feature songs from the movie by John Farrar and Jeff Lynne. They include such pop hits as “Magic,” “Party All Over the World,” “I’m Alive” and the title tune.
Butler is best known for her portrayal of the sweetly ditsy Penny Pingleton in “Hairspray.” She also played Audrey in the 2003 Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Now that I’m here, now that you’re queer, in Xanadu
Xanadu is great because it has its own unique flavour of very late 70s/very early 80s tacky—and an excellent synthy, almost New Wave, score by ELO. The special effects must have seemed pretty cool back then, too. Check out the glowing muses in the opening number, “I’m Alive.”
Excuse me, miss, you have a stick shift growing out of your cranium…
The camp value of it all aside, I feel compelled to point out that this is yet another case of Broadway producers’ dusting off a cult classic movie, throwing in some new songs, and sticking it on stage.