Based on the cult film of the same name, a Greek muse descends from the heavens to 1980's Venice Beach, California, to inspire struggling artist Sonny to create the greatest entertainment achievement possible (at least in the 1980s): a Roller Disco! The muse falls in love with the mortal, and her jealous sisters plot to bring them down.
Xanadu is an electrifying musical tale about following your own dreams, with chart-topping tunes by Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John. The New York Times hailed this Tony-nominated musical as "outlandishly enjoyable," and The New Yorker wrote, "...you can't count the disco balls fast enough - not to mention the roller skates, the frosted pink lips, and the glittering spandex that hurls at you like a PCP flashback."
I talked to Ostrander-Award winning actress Courtney Oliver, who plays Calliope, about this loving homage to the Olivia Newton-John film. Through a flurry of laughter, she explained the zany plot, talked about the cast mastering the art of roller-skating, gave me a few hints about the show's spectacular theatrical elements, and told me that some lucky audience members can enjoy all of the fun while seated onstage.
Xanadu runs now through July 22 at Playhouse on the Square, 66 South Cooper Street, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. The Pay-What-You-Can performance is Thursday, July 5th.
For tickets, call the Playhouse box office at 901-726-4656, or go on-line to playhouseonthesquare.org.