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Saturday, June 02, 2007


XANADU. The special effects-laden romantic tale of one of the nine Greek muses coming to earth to inspire the creation of roller disco, starring an embarrassingly ancient Gene Kelley and Olivia Newton-John, hot off the mega-success of GREASE but destined to fail here.

XANADU. Second only to CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC as perhaps the most universally-loathed movie musical of the past three decades, and a major box-office bomb when released in 1980 (it was made for $20,000,000 and hauled in $22,000,000 in ticket sales; you do the math).

XANADU. A treacly confection that aimed to simultaneously appeal to the then-dwindling disco contingent and fans of big band tunes.

XANADU. By any estimation a disaster.

So why adapt it for Off-Broadway?

When I saw a story covering its production on the news this afternoon I almost spat out my mango juice. And the fucking thing opens the day before my birthday, so don't even think about getting me a ticket!


Christopher Ashley to Direct Xanadu Musical Off-Broadway

By Andrew Gans
27 Mar 2006

All Shook Up's Christopher Ashley is set to direct a new musical production of Xanadu — based on the 1980 film of the same name — Off-Broadway in spring 2007.

Douglas Carter Beane will pen the book for the production, which will be produced by Robert Ahrens. The musical will utilize songs from the movie's soundtrack. The film featured tunes by John Farrar and Jeff Lynne, including "Xanadu," "All Over the World," "I'm Alive," "Magic" and "Suddenly."

Playwright Douglas Carter Beane is the author of The Little Dog Laughed, As Bees in Honey Drown, The Country Club, Music From a Sparkling Planet, Advice From a Caterpillar, White Lies and Devil May Care and Old Money. Director Christopher Ashley has directed All Shook Up, The Smell of the Kill, Voices in the Dark, Princesses, As Thousands Cheers, The Country Club, Rude Entertainment, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Jeffrey, Blown Sideways Through Life, Fires in the Mirror, Bunny Bunny and Das Barbecu.

The 1980 film "Xanadu" was written by Richard Christian Danus and Marc Reid Rubel and was directed by Robert Greenwald. Described as "a fantasy, a musical, a place where dreams come true," the film starred Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Michael Beck, James Sloyan, Dimitra Arliss, Katie Hanley, Fred McCarren and Ren Woods.


Scraps said...

Sgt Pepper has to be a serious candidate for most loathed movie musical of the last thirty years. Otherwise can't argue with your top two. Boy, they don't make 'em like that any more. I think all of those are more than twenty-five years old.

Anonymous said...

Jim Browski says:

There are no depths that a Broadway (or Off Broadway it would seem) Producer will not plum.
Now, when can we expect the long overdue stage version of At Long Last Love?

jessicago said...

How about Facts of Life, the live drag episode? Really.