While taking this week off, I thought I'd take in a show. Actually, I meant to see Xanadu on Broadway a while ago, I just had major fears about what I was going to see when I got there. I'm not really a Broadway musicals fanatic, but after 2 Tony award nominations, I figured it was worth trying.
But it was hard to get to that point. Xanadu (the film) got some of the most horrifying reviews ever. I mean, what's not to love about a creative muse who pops out of a mural with her 8 sisters and persuades 2 men (a character played Gene Kelly one of them) to open a roller disco?
Frankly, the new Broadway cast CD and performances on TV didn't help me. I just didn't see it translating well.
That was then.
Flash forward to last night, I get my Playbill and my glow stick, then finally settle into my seat. Surprise #1, the Helen Hayes Theatre was a packed house.
The house lights dim, then I brace myself for the worst. The male lead, Cheyenne Jackson, sets up the first number. The music strikes up, the mural "comes to life" and the festivities begin. As soon as you realize that two of the muses were now guys, all bets were off.
Xanadu on Broadway was excellent.
It's now a jacked-up, and high-camp comedy only loosely based on the film. The talent was amazing, every one of them. And for the record, I caught it with Whoopie Goldberg... a huge bonus.
The jokes were far from stale. Like I said, two of the muses are now guys: the muse of comedy and the muse of dance. However, if that idea bothers you, stay as far away from this show as you can.
Otherwise, prepare to have a great time in a very Mama Mia-esque kinda way.
Rob Caiger, by the way, is interviewed about Jeff in Xanadu: The Book! Seriously! which is sold at the Helen Hayes Theatre. While Rob's interview is quite good, it should be an interview with Jeff. And given the Tony nominations and the good will, fun and humor this show is creating, Jeff may want to consider embracing this production very publicly. I'm not confident it's his kind of humor, but the show won over so many.
I'm almost shocked how much fun it was.
I'm now officially thankful Xanadu was an awful movie.