ALL GREEK TO US: ‘Xanadu’ forged members rehearse a dance range. (Courtesy Surflight Theatre)
Surflight Theatre went with a few of oldies but goodies to open up up its 2021 main phase period with “Annie” and “A Refrain Line.” That manufactured overall sense. The two demonstrates, right after all, experienced won a combined 16 Tony Awards, with equally earning Most effective Musical honors and the latter tacking on a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. They ran for 8,514 Broadway performances among them in their initial operates. They absolutely would put fannies into seats at Surflight and did.
But as members of the Monty Python’s Traveling Circus troupe utilised to say, “And now for one thing completely different.”
“Xanadu,” which will operate from Aug. 10 by means of Aug. 29 at Surflight’s 2021 summer months dwelling, a huge leading tent in Beach front Haven’s Veterans Memorial Park, didn’t acquire a solitary Tony whilst it was nominated for 4, which includes Ideal Musical. It ran for only 49 previews and 513 performances – a respectable variety, but barely a blockbuster.
Possibilities are fantastic that lots of theatergoers, even regulars, have never read of “Xanadu” right before now.
So why is the Seaside Haven theater developing this show? Properly, as Surflight Creating Inventive Director Steve Steiner has been expressing in his opening remarks at “A Chorus Line,” it’s one particular of the two funniest displays he has ever noticed regardless of the truth it was based on a 1980 film so lousy that it was a big impetus for the creation of the yearly Golden Raspberry Awards, a.k.a. the Razzies, that realize the worst films of every single year. That’s high praise from a Broadway veteran who became an formal Tony voter as perfectly, so he has seen scores and scores of productions on the Great White Way.
And when the musical opened on Broadway on Might 23, 2007, it acquired great critiques, so substantially so that the working day immediately after they came out, the Helen Hayes Theatre set a a single-day box office file.
“Can a musical be simultaneously indefensible and irresistible?” requested The New York Times reviewer Charles Isherwood. “Well, sure it can. Witness ‘Xanadu,’ the outlandishly fulfilling phase spoof of the outrageously negative movie from 1980 about a painter and his muse who obtain really like at a roller disco in Los Angeles.”
Hilton Als, writing for The New Yorker, explained “Xanadu” was “probably the most exciting you’ll have on Broadway this time, one particular motive remaining that almost everything about it is so resolutely anti-Broadway. In its wildness and ecstasy, ‘Xanadu’ is a welcome relief from the synthetic creations that some Broadway producers have been peddling for a long time. … ‘Xanadu’ is considerably sleazier and cheesier than regular musical theatre, and it details out just how tame most other musicals are.”
Reviewers had been continue to amazed by the musical several years later.
“There are loads of puns, pulled faces, and preposterousness to continue to keep the laughs coming,” wrote Christine Swerczek for BroadwayWorld.com in February 2019 soon after using in a output of the present at the Nebraska Wesleyan College Theatre. “Those in attendance certainly appeared to appreciate themselves.”
“Rollerblading into the 2021 time with one particular of the wackiest musicals to have graced the Broadway phase, Sunnybank Theatre Group (found in Brisbane, Australia) kicked off their calendar year with a flourish,” wrote Priya Shah for theatrehaus.com in March of this 12 months.
A synopsis of the show’s guide will have to wait around right up until soon after Surflight’s opening night time. It seems difficult, what with mixing the name of Kublai Khan’s summertime palace in Internal Mongolia, a Venice Beach chalk artist, a Greek refrain, roller skating, Zeus, songs by the likes of the Electric powered Light-weight Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John and, of program, a really like story. The display, while, runs only about 90 minutes, which usually means the plot line can’t be as convoluted as it originally sounds.
Apparently, the film “Xanadu” has grow to be a cult common. Contemplating the musical began off on considerably greater floor, it, also, is likely to become a cult traditional. Just believe, you’ll have the likelihood to get in somewhat early on the fun prior to it does in fact turn out to be a summer season inventory staple, the theatrical equivalent of viewing “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” movie at the Waverly Theater in Greenwich Village in 1976.
How excellent is that!
“Xanadu” will be done at 8 p.m. on Aug. 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, and 28, at 8:15 p.m. on Aug. 11, 18 and 25, and at 2 p.m. on Aug. 12, 15, 17, 22, 24, and 29. Tickets are $41 for adults and $31 for little ones younger than 13. They may be procured on the net at surflight.org, by mobile phone at 609-492-9477 or at the box workplace, situated at 201 Engleside Ave. in Beach front Haven.
— Rick Mellerup