If you're old like me you remember a movie called "Xanadu" which killed off Olivia Newton-John's career and probably helped cause Gene Kelly's death.
Somebody got the bright idea that it would make a swell Broadway musical and, when I saw the ad for it in the papers a couple of months back... so did I. I copped some tickets in April and dragged my college roommates, and their assorted boyfriends, to see it yesterday afternoon.
IT WAS FABULOUS!
The show has a great pedigree. Music by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) with new material by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar thrown in to flesh it out and, more importantly, a book by everyone's current favorite gay playwright (excuse me Tony Kushner, Christopher Durang and Harvey Fierstein), Douglas Carter Beane who wrote the devastatingly funny show-biz Roman a Clef, "The Little Dog Laughed" which was produced on Broadway last year.
The plot is too silly for words. An "artist" (a circa 1980, Venice Beach Bimboy) named Sonny wants to open up an "arts palace/roller disco" in Santa Monica in an old theater which was built at the beginning of WWII and never opened, owned by a money-grubbing old real estate mogul who once aspired to play the clarinet.
One of the Seven Muses, Clio, decides to inspire Sonny and drags her 6 other sisters (2 of whom are played by men) into the plot.
She takes human form and spends the remaining 90 minutes of the intermissionless show inspiring Sonny to follow his dream, reminding the cranky old real estate tycoon that he ONCE had a dream (which he abandoned for profits... thus losing Clio who had been HIS girlfriend in a previous incarnation), falling in love with Sonny and he with her, actually drawing something thus violating every rule in the Demigod's Handbook and pissing off her father, Zeus, in the process.
It all builds to a big climax and extremely toe-tapping/sing-along finale of the Big Song itself... "XANADU." Highly satisfactory!
Oh, yeah, and she becomes human, loses her powers and immortality, and she and Sonny live happily ever after.
Yeah, right. Look, it's a MUSICAL. Okay?
The show has found it's audience, ladies of a certain age and bazillions of queers. The matinee we attended was a sell-out. The humor is hip, contemporary (for a dated show) and brings back lots of memories of a time and place (the early 80's) when everyone wore big hair and leg warmers.
I loved it.
Go see it!