Funny Gals Hoffman and Testa Join Xanadu Cast

News   Funny Gals Hoffman and Testa Join Xanadu Cast
Broadway favorites Jackie Hoffman — of Hairspray fame — and two-time Tony nominee Mary Testa have joined the cast of Xanadu, the new musical scheduled to begin previews May 23 at the Helen Hayes Theatre with an official opening June 26.

Mary Testa
Mary Testa Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Testa will play the role of Melpomeny, the evil muse of tragedy, while Hoffman will be Calliope, the muse of epic. The twosome join the previously announced Kerry Butler as Kira and Tony Roberts as Danny.

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.

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."

Jackie Hoffman received a Theatre World Award for her work in Hairspray. Her other theatrical credits include The Sisters Rosensweig, Regrets Only, Book of Liz (Obie Award), Straightjacket, Incident at Cobbler's Knob and One Woman Shoe (Jeff Award). Hoffman has been seen on screen in "Legally Blonde II," "Kissing Jessica Stein," "Garden State," "Mo' Money" and "Freaky Friday." On Broadway Mary Testa has been seen in Chicago, Barnum, Marilyn, The Rink, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, On the Town, Marie Christine and 42nd Street, earning Tony nominations for her work in On the Town and 42nd Street. Recently seen Off-Broadway in See What I Wanna See, her other theatre credits include String of Pearls, Lend Me a Tenor, The Vagina Monologues, The Wax, From Above (Obie Award), Lucky Stiff, In Trousers, Tartuffe and On the Town (Obie Award).

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.

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