Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On Stage for you,Xanadu!

Yes,Virginia,it's true-an Off-Broadway production of Xanadu is in the works. Songs from the Olivia Newton-John/Gene Kelly roller disco fantasy will be included such as "Suddenly" and ELO's"All Over the World". No word on casting yet(there's more details in the article linked above)but this should give some of those voted-off American Idol contestants some hope at being onstage again without worrying about a Simon Cowell Snark Attack.

Xanadu has been one of my cult faves for a long time-I remember when the movie was due out in theaters and even had the tie-in comic book edition(should've kept that baby-it's probaly roommates with that large sized Princess Leia doll I had as a kid that would've made me some sweet E-Bay moola). For those of you who don't know the story,it's about Kira(ON-J),a muse who comes to earth to inspire commerical artist Sonny(Michael Beck) to team up with old school retired musician Danny Mcguire(Gene Kelly) to start up a roller disco nightclub. Of course,Kira and Sonny fall in love and her big secret is revealed,blah blah blah,you get the idea.

The plot is the least important element of the film(as usual)-it's the musical numbers that get you and some of them are doozies-my favorite one is where Sonny and Danny debate over what type of music they want to feature in their club and their ideas come to life,with a big band dance number on one side and the Tubes singing "Dancin'(that has such hip lyrics as "lover/won't take a back seat tonight/woo hoo")on the other. The two merge into one towards the end,in a weird way that reminds you of Paula Abdul's "Coldhearted" video. Not as sexed up but very copycatty.

There's even an animated sequence,courtesy of Don Bluth,where Kira and Sonny become fish and birds who pursue each other to the tune of "Don't Walk Away". No,it's not explained or even acknowledged by the characters-it's just one of those random moments in life where two people turn into cartoons and share some shapeshifting fun.

The soundtrack is the best and strongest part of the original Xanadu and I'm glad that they're keeping alot of the songs. In my stroll thru the internet,I found out that there's also some sort of Rocky Horror version called "Xanadu Alive" that's been playing for the devoted followers of this film. Sounds like fun on a stick! I've never been a big theater buff but with Xanadu hitting the boards hopefully by '07,I may have to find me some fancy duds and go on the town. I just hope that they don't just cast anybody-Sebastian Bach on Broadway was bad enough-and that "Suspended in Time" is also included. It's a lovely song and I won't be the only one tempted to toss some tomatoes if it's left out.

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