Xanadu Aiming for Spring Off-Broadway Opening

News   Xanadu Aiming for Spring Off-Broadway Opening The new musical Xanadu — based on the 1980 film of the same name — will likely open Off-Broadway in spring 2007.

Douglas Carter Beane, who penned the book for the new musical, told Playbill.com that another workshop of Xanadu will be held in December prior to a spring Off-Broadway opening. Rob Ahrens will produce the commercial production at a venue to be announced.

An Aug. 3 reading of Xanadu featured Jane Krakowski as Kira, the role created on screen by Olivia Newton-John; Ben Vereen as Danny, the role originally played by Gene Kelly; Cheyenne Jackson as Sonny; Mary Testa as Melephone; Annie Golden as Calliope; Asa Somers as Thalia; Leslie Kritzer as Terpsicore; Darius de Haas as Euterpe; and Angela Ai as Erato.

Christopher Ashley directed the summer reading of the musical, which utilizes songs from the movie's soundtrack; Eric Stern was musical director.

Playwright Beane previously told Playbill.com that Xanadu "uses the movie as a springboard for a musical comedy about creativity and mortality." In Xanadu, Kira is a muse sent to earth. There are eight other muses who arrive, says Beane, "[ready] to create havoc in early eighties America."

"From the last reading," Beane also said, "I have been pushing it more into the wonderful worlds of Greek mythology and the early eighties. All of the eighties political figures have been cut." *

An April 21 reading of Xanadu featured Kerry Butler as Kira and Alan Tudyk as Danny with Billy Porter as Calliope, muse of epic drama; Annie Golden as Erato, muse of lyrics and erotic poetry; Jackie Hoffman as Euterpe, muse of music; Mary Testa as Melephone, muse of tragedy; Mary Bond Davis as Polyhmnia, muse of sacred music; Cady Huffman as Terpsicore, muse of dance; Amy Hohn as Thalia, muse of comedy; and Jonathan Freeman as Urania, muse of astrology.

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