Xanadu delights with historical cultural confusion and fun!

Now playing until August 4
Granville Island Stage

http://www.artsclub.com/20112012/plays/xanadu.htm

 

Take the name of the Kubla Khan palace visited by Venetian explorer Marco Polo in 1275, mix in some Greek muses and powerful gods such as Zeus, Hera and Aphrodite, stir in some 1970’s pop music by Olivia Newton-Johna and Electric Light Orchestra, and re-write the forgotten 1980 Newton-John/ Gene Kelly movie Xanadu as a 1980’s spoof musical and we have a fun cultural mash-up parody.

I admit I collected the records of Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newtow-John in the 1970’s and early 80’s.  And I did see the movie on plane trip back from Hawaii.  So I was definitely musically prepared to see this show.  I had also googled the Xanadu Broadway musical, and found this promotional youtube video.

Xanadu the Musical – Sizzle! – YouTube

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh-VicEJrDo21 Apr 2008 – 4 min – Uploaded by XanadutheMusical
Scenes and interviews From the Xanadu the Musical on Broadway! For more, visit XanaduOnBroadway.com.

The Arts Club has done an amazing job in a small space at the Arts Club Granville Island Stage.  It’s not the large Broadway theatre production, but it is a perfect size for summer theatre.

The  general story arc is a young artist contemplates suicide, but is inspired by a female figure that encourages him to create his dream – where all the arts of music, dance, art and theatre can come together in one place – a roller disco!

Gaelan Beatty plays Sonny, the distraught artist who is dressed in a jean vest and head band like somebody from a 1984 Bruce Springsteen concert.  Marlie Collins is the Greek muse come to life, and disguised with an Australian accent, while wearing roller skates and legwarmers that came out of Olivia Newton-John’s 1982 music video Physical.  Both do a great job, speaking seriously about the importance of art and creative inspiration, while referencing 1980’s icons and events.

Vincent Tong is a magnificient multi-tasker playing multiple roles as a muse, a cyclops, and a Gene Kellyesque dancer.  It is amazing watching the entire cast sing and dance with smiles on their faces.  They really look like they are having so much fun.

This production has even added some of the more famous songs by Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John from the ’70’s such as Strange Magic, Evil Woman and Have You Never Been Mellow – that weren’t originally featured in the 1980 movie.  They are integrated seamlessly into the storyline.

 

more later – tw

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some videos from the Arts Club website.

PLAY
Trailer
 PLAY
Dean Paul Gibson
& Lisa Stevens
 PLAY
Gaelan Beatty
& Marlie Collins
 PLAY
Rehearsals
 PLAY
Behind the Scenes

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