Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Heavenly Night for One Fanadu

The New York Times says Xanadu is "Heaven on Wheels!"  We caught up with our Video Contest Winner before her big night, and we're pretty sure she agrees!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Roll With It Dude

This past weekend? The Center’s community plaza? Was, like, transformed into a totally free roller skating rink to celebrate the hit musical Xanadu, which kicked off its national tour here. Dozens of roller skaters had, like, a blast strutting their stuff around the outdoor “rink.” The music was the soundtrack of the most tubular songs from the ‘80s. Some of the rad participants even skated their way to the Center while others, like, rented skates from the fine folks at Down & Derby. Check out more photos below of the roller skaters having a totally ultimate time! The ‘80s-inspired Xanadu continues through December 27. (Photo above: Deanna and Nia Lambert from Costa Mesa.)

Photo above: RJ and Shannon Smith from Huntington Beach
Photo above: Makenzie Gomez from San Pedro and Jill Herrera from Long Beach

Photo above: Michele Morris from Orange
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Rave Reviews for Xanadu

Center Scene blogger Jacob weighs in on Xanadu below. And it seems the Orange County Register, Long Beach Press-Telegram, SoCalThrills and StageSceneLA all agree with Jacob's review. What did you think about the musical? We'd love to know if you think the critics get it right or wrong. (Photo: Elizabeth Stanley and company in Xanadu (c) Carol Rosegg.)

Jacob writes:

Xanadu is/was…
A.) The summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan empire
B.) The subject of a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
C.) A 1980’s cult classic starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly
D.) An irreverent musical based on the 1980’s film of the same name
E.) All of the above

If you selected choice E.) you are correct. And if you happen to have the chance to glide on over to the Orange County Performing Arts Center between now and December 27, you’ll have the chance to check out this incredibly wacky, yet disarmingly endearing musical.

Centering on the story of a muse and a lost artist, Xanadu the musical is itself based on the 1980’s film described above. A cult classic, and one that I was introduced to at an early age, the film is corny, campy, and fun.

Xanadu the musical looks to capture the same level of “cheesiness” and build on it with a dizzying mix of sequins, glitter, dancing, and, of course, roller disco. It definitely succeeds in this respect and one can’t help but exit the theatre humming an ELO tune.

Much as if you saw Wicked without first seeing Wizard of Oz, without first seeing the Xanadu film you may find that some jokes are bit over your head. But fear not. The show is packed with enough jokes targeted at the 1980’s, musical theater, the arts, and Los Angeles that even a Xanadu novice will find themselves laughing hysterically.

A perfect cure for a dull winter evening, Xanadu is 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated entertainment. The cast is so committed that even the corniest gag solicits roars of laughter. The show is just plain ri-dic-u-lous. But I promise you’ll love it.

So skate – don’t walk – on over to OCPAC before it’s too late. Much like any good muse, Xanadu won’t be around forever.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Xanadu Cast Party

They danced onstage and through the night – the cast of Xanadu were the guests of The Shark Club in Costa Mesa following the December 17th performance. Cast members mixed and mingled and greeted fans and guests – and they treated the crowd of Wednesday night revelers to “Evil Woman” and “Party All Over the World.” Xanadu is making its first stop on a national tour at the Center’s Segerstrom Hall through Sunday, December 27.

Below: photo of Clement Gosch and Albert Ramos with Elizabeth Stanley

Below: photo of Lance Perkins, Elizabeth Stanley and Leo Buck

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All About the Kids

Local families came to the Center last night to enjoy the first of three special Kids’ Night on Broadway for the hit musical Xanadu, which is kicking of its national tour in Orange County. In keeping with the show’s ‘80s theme, kids and their parents participated in fun retro activities, including disco dancing with cast members, playing video games and dress-up and much more before curtain time. As the pictures show, it was a groovy night. Kids’ Night on Broadway is being presented in collaboration with The Broadway League to help introduce young people to the excitement and wonder of live Broadway entertainment. The program offers parents who purchase one full-priced ticket a second free ticket free for a child between the ages of 8 and 18. Xanadu Kids’ Night on Broadway goes through Thursday, December 17. For more information click here.

Above: Playing dress-up were Carla, Camryn, Britney and Derek Hamaguchi from Aliso Viejo. Photo by Kevin Bohn.

Below: Cast member Kevin Duda taught Leslie and Heather Fiebleman of Newport Beach how to dance a routine from Xanadu.

Below: Siblings Jonny and Mackenzie Gomez from Rancho Palos Verdes hammed it up in the Xanadu cut-outs.

Below: Teresa and Taylor Troyer of Lakewood show off some artwork.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Take a Trip Back to the ‘80s

Click on the video above to watch a fun shoutout from Xanadu leads Elizabeth Stanley and Max Von Essen. Starting tonight, they’ll be performing in the smash-hit roller skating musical adventure, which runs here through December 27. With popular tunes such as “Magic,” “All Over the World,” “Suddenly,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Evil Woman,” Xanadu is a welcome blast from the past. Good luck tonight, Elizabeth, Max and the rest of the cast and crew!

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Ortega is In the Heights

Variety reports that Kenny Ortega will direct the film adaptation of the Tony Award winning Best Musical In The Heights.  This connects Ortega to two musicals on the current Broadway season, as he was also the choreographer of the original movie of Xanadu.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Disco Fever!

This year's Candlelight Concert was an homage to the '70s disco era with Donna Summer headlining the gala fundraiser. Mirrored disco balls lit the stage as revelers grooved to Summer's classic hits such as "Last Dance," "Love to Love You Baby," "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff." And a few lucky party-goers were chosen by Summer herself to be back-up singers.

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Top 10 for '10

BroadwayWorld profiles 10 theater projects and artists to watch in 2010. Works by a few on the list will be seen at the Center in the coming months, including In The Heights' Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julie Taymor.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


In case you missed it, here's a clip of Dreamgirls stars Syesha Mercado and Moya Angela performing on The Early Show on CBS this morning. 

Watch CBS News Videos Online

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