Saturday, March 19, 2011

Xanadu the Musical

Dear friends,

Last night I’m pretty sure I had as close to a religious experience as I may ever get. Last night, I saw Xanadu the Musical. Now I know you may be puzzled by this statement or thinking ‘pfffft Xanadu – isn’t that kind of lame?’ as one of my friends did from the TV ads, but I can assure you, the Melbourne production of Xanadu is nothing short of amaze-balls!

Now, as you know I’m rather fond of musicals and for me, the more silly, self-indulgent and self-referential the better! I also love extremely campy, ridiculous-but-brilliant movie musicals like Grease 2 (seriously, please don’t hate on it or can't be friends) and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (I am SUPERWOMAN!) and especially anything from the eighties. If you also enjoy these things and have a sense of humour, you will love Xanadu.

For those not familiar with the original 1980 film, Xanadu is about Sonny, a struggling Venice Beach artist, who is inspired by Clio (ancient muse of history and sent down to Los Angeles in the form of Kira, a roller-skating Aussie). There’s scheming sisters, rotating telephone booths, lots of lycra, winged horses, centaurs, great music and roller discos – now really, what more could you want in a show?

The whole cast is fantastic and look like they are having a blast the entire time (and have clearly embraced the cheesy-eighties-glory of the show and just run with it whole-heartedly). Sam Ludeman is extremely likeable as the himbo, laidback artist Sonny Malone and Christie Whelan (Clio/Kira) is a complete triple-threat – a gorgeous, singing-dancing-skating dynamo. The cast is rounded out by a strong group of character performers, who are happy to ham it up.

What else makes it awesome? Well, it is performed in a custom-built Xanadu tent, which is pretty rad (and really makes the whole viewing experience completely different to your typical theatre set-up and to be honest, I don’t know if the show would have worked as well if it had been at the Regent or Princess theatres). There’s also lots of shiny things (over 100 mirrored-disco balls!) and amazing airbrushed artwork and the whole set is kind of Ancient Greece meets 80s music video.

My other favourite thing about the Xanadu experience happened after the end of the show. Eighties tribute band, Stand and Deliver play a set for XanaduLand patrons! I had never seen them before, but they were fantastic and so, so fun. It’s a great way to finish off the night. I honestly can’t emphasise enough how brilliant this production is.

Xanadu the Musical is playing in Melbourne at the Xanadu tent in Docklands until April 3, before moving onto Sydney and Brisbane. The show runs for 90 minutes with no interval, and Stand and Deliver play for about an hour afterwards (seriously, stick around and see them). Check out the official website for more information. I should also thank the very-lovely Andi for coming with me to see Xanadu (and was able to appreciate every minute of it!)

PS. Oh my goodness, and I realised yesterday I completely forgot to announce who won my Birthday Giveaway.

Congrats to the lovely Nomes of inkcrush! Hope you enjoy your prize. For the rest of my readers, don't fret - I have some more fun giveaways coming up in the next couple of months, so please check back soon.


Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Congrats to Nomes! (hah, I was 6th)

I've never heard of this musical, but it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Hope to hear more about it after you've seen it in April!

Braiden said...

I won't get the chance to see Xanadu :( BUT I am ushering next week for the first preview week for Rock of Ages...oh yeah! Can't wait.

Now I've watched Hairspray 5 times haha (and counting...) and all free because of ushering. I rock!

Now that weighs out my Wicked x5 and Billy Elliot x6 money I spent. :p

You going to see Rock of Ages/Love Never Dies? I'll see you around :D

Miss Friday said...

Braiden - ohhhh jealous! I'm definitely seeing Rock of Ages (probably in May/June as I'm trying to space out my theatre tickets and I've also got a Production Company subscription - yep I think it's obvious where my money goes) but am still undecided about Love Never Dies.

And wow - 5 times seeing Wicked and 6 seeing Billy Elliot! What a champ!! I saw Wicked twice, but I was using the lotto, so it was pretty cheap haha.

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