Saturday, January 11, 2014

Xanadu: Rock and Roller Skates (with Balloons)

by Pa Rock
Theatre Fan

I'm just back from an evening at Phoenix's Herberger Theatre where I had the pleasure of watching the Arizona Theatre Company's production of the rock musical, Xanadu.  The stage show was originally a movie vehicle for Olivia Newton John, one that has held up well over the intervening three decades since the film's release in 1980.

The stage play is set in Venice, California, in 1980 and involves a luckless young artist who has given up on his painting and is suicidal.  His life changes when he meets the beautiful Kira who inspires him to follow his dreams.  Kira and her eight sisters are, in reality, muses from the court of Zeus, the King of the Gods, and when she falls in love with the artist, a mere mortal, she encounters the wrath of Zeus.   But love eventually conquers all.  

A highlight of the show was a lengthy version of Jeff Lynne's "Evil Woman" which received the strongest audience reaction of any number in the show.

And there was dancing, wonderful dancing that included ballet, tap, and even dancing on roller skates.   The finale was highlighted with a balloon drop that maximized audience participation as we batted balloons to and fro!

It was a beautifully staged production!  Kudos to the young people on stage who put the sparkle in Xanadu!

No comments: