Tony Roberts Joins Xanadu Cast; Design Team Announced

News   Tony Roberts Joins Xanadu Cast; Design Team Announced Veteran stage and screen star Tony Roberts will join the previously announced Kerry Butler in the cast of the new Broadway musical Xanadu. Roberts will play the role of Danny, the part originated in the film of the same name by Gene Kelly.

Tony Roberts will join the Broadway company of Xanadu.
Tony Roberts will join the Broadway company of Xanadu. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Butler, as already reported, will play Kira in Xanadu, which is scheduled to begin previews May 23 at the Helen Hayes Theatre with an official opening June 26.

Directed by Christopher Ashley, the musical will feature choreography by Dan Knechtges (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 110 in the Shade). The design team will include Tony Award winners David Gallo (set design) and Howell Binkley (lighting design).

Xanadu features a book by Little Dog Laughed playwright Douglas Carter Beane and utilizes songs from John Farrar and Jeff Lynne's film soundtrack. Additional casting and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Tony Roberts received Tony Award nominations for his performances in Play It Again Sam and How Now, Dow Jones. His other theatrical credits include Victor/Victoria, Barefoot in the Park, Don't Drink the Water, Sugar, Absurd Person Singular, Arsenic and Old Lace, They're Playing Our Song, Jerome Robbins' Broadway and The Sisters Rosensweig. He won the London’s Critics Poll Award for his performance in the West End mounting of Promises, Promises, and his many screen credits include "Annie Hall," "Play It Again, Sam" and "Serpico."

Kerry Butler was most recently on Broadway as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. She portrayed Penny Pingleton in the original Broadway cast of Hairspray, and her other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Eponine in Les Misérables and Ms. Jones in Blood Brothers. Off-Broadway she was seen in Bat Boy The Musical, The "I" Word, Prodigal and The Folsom Head. She was also part of the cast of the new musical The Opposite of Sex, which premiered in San Francisco. Xanadu, according to a recent casting notice, centers on "Kira, a Greek muse sent to Earth to inspire mortals and artists in Venice, CA, in the 1980's. While on earth, Kira falls in love with an artist when helping him realize his dreams."

The 1980 film "Xanadu" was written by Richard Christian Danus and Marc Reid Rubel and was directed by Robert Greenwald. Described as "a fantasy, a musical, a place where dreams come true," the film starred Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Michael Beck, James Sloyan, Dimitra Arliss, Katie Hanley, Fred McCarren and Ren Woods. Jeff Lynne and John Farrar composed the film's score.

The Helen Hayes Theatre is located in Manhattan at 240 West 44th Street.