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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