June 2015

Xanadu: You Have to Believe this is Magic

Author: Andrea Gannon

Get your leg warmers ready and polish your roller skates. Xanadu is the summer production at the Arts Center, and it’s a blast from the not-too-distant past. Packed with shimmery, upbeat songs by the British ’80s phenomenon Electric Light Orchestra and John Farrar (composer of most of Olivia Newton John’s hits) including “Magic,” “All Over the World,” “Suddenly,” “I’m Alive,” “Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” and “Xanadu,” to name a few. The hilarious, roller-skating, musical adventure, about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you, rolls along to this legendary hit score. Take this marvelous ’80s music and add in a romantic, whimsical story that’s full of comedy, as it spoofs the eponymous movie, and you have the magic of Xanadu.

The musical follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mt. Olympus to sunny Venice Beach, California in 1980 in a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time: the first—what else?—roller disco of course! (Hey, it’s 1980 after all). When she accidentally falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, much to her jealous sister-muses’ dismay, chaos and fun abound, skate wheels turn and disco balls twirl. Directed by New York-based DJ Salisbury, Xanadu will be on stage at the Arts Center June 17-July 26, perfectly in tune with summer’s breezy, carefree vibe.

Breaking house records at the Helen Hayes Theatre, the original production of Xanadu opened on Broadway in 2007 to glowing reviews and was subsequently nominated for four 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Xanadu perfectly blends satire, parody, comedy and drama to create an electrifying tale of romance and fun, great for the entire family.
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Preview performances (June 17 & 18) are $35 for adults and $25 for children 4-15; Regular tickets (June 19-July 26) are $45 for adults and $31 for children. For tickets, call the box office at (843) 842-ARTS or visit artshhi.com.??

Awards
• 2008 Tony Award nominations for Best Book of a Musical, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Choreography
• 2008 Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical
• 2008 Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical
• 2008 Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Musical; Best Director, Leading Actor, Featured Actress in a Musical; Best Choreography
• 2008 Drama League Award nomination for Best Musical
• “Brilliant… so lavish… and sublime!” –The New Yorker

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