Aaaahhh, the doldrums of late January, early February. What to do, and where to go…..how about ‘A place where nobody dared to go….The love that we came to know…They call it XANADU!!’
The tongue-in-cheek tribute to the 1980 movie of the same title, has skated into the Dayton Playhouse through February 5th.
“It’s a small musical, with a cast 9 people, yet it has everything you expect from the show!” says Amy Askins, one of the show’s cast members. “There is roller-skating, great sets (by Chris Newman), fabulous wigs (by Steve Burton) and of course the music!” (For ELO fans, welcome back to your past!)
It is probably the skating that people remember most about the movie, which many think may have knocked Olivia Newton-John’s career on its rump. Somehow, this musical takes off, with its classic Mt. Olympus tale blended perfectly with 80’s music and underlying love story.
“The story remains the same, with the lovely Muse meeting the California boy and helping him realize his artistic calling!” says Askins. “And the beat goes on!” XANADU could not be XANADU without the throwbacks to Ancient Greece. “Some of the real fun is in the characters.” Askins adds. “We have a Cyclops, Medusa, a Centaur and even a Flying Pegasus!” (I’M SOLD!)
The play, directed by the high energy, much respected, Tina McPherson, is the perfect pick-me-up this time of year. Her decision to bring this play to Dayton Playhouse now, is no accident.
“The story still has the drama as well. Of course, there are the villainous sisters, ” of which Askins plays Melpomene, “Trying to thwart their sister’s love affair. And what connects to people is the music!”
Think you don’t know any songs from XANADU except XANADU…think again. The show contains the classics “Evil Woman,” “All over the World,” “Strange Magic,” and of course, the beautiful melody of Newton-John’s hit, “Suddenly.”
The choreography (expertly put together by Annette Looper), the skating (and, oh yes, falls do happen), and the costumes (Tim Grewe gets it right!) all combine to lift the show to ‘dream come true’ status!
The central message of ‘self-expression is the key to being human’ is truly brought to life in this local production!
So, Strap on your Skateworld Rentals and head to the Playhouse for this throwback love story where Kira (Ellie Krug who can Skate & Sing!) and Sonny (lovable Desmond Thomas) prove this cast is worth the ‘million lights dancing’ in XANADU!
XANADU is playing at the Dayton Playhouse through February 5, 2017.
The Playhouse is located at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave, Dayton, OH 45414.
Tickets are $18 for Adults, $16 for Seniors (55+)/Students/Military and can be purchased through the box office, 937-424-8477.