Xanadu Reading — with Tony Winner Krakowski — Presented Aug. 3

News   Xanadu Reading — with Tony Winner Krakowski — Presented Aug. 3
A by-invitation-only reading of the new musical Xanadu — based on the 1980 film of the same name — will be held in Manhattan Aug. 3. Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski will play Kira, the role created on screen by Olivia Newton-John.

Jane Krakowski
Jane Krakowski Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Produced by Rob Ahrens, the Drama Dept. reading will also feature 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 is directing the reading of Xanadu, which utilizes songs from the movie's soundtrack; Eric Stern is musical director. Douglas Carter Beane, whose acclaimed play The Little Dog Laughed is headed to Broadway in the fall, has penned the book for the new musical.

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 (Krakowski) 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 now says, "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."

Playwright Douglas Carter Beane is the author of The Little Dog Laughed, As Bees in Honey Drown, The Country Club, Music From a Sparkling Planet, Advice From a Caterpillar, White Lies and Devil May Care and Old Money. Director Christopher Ashley has directed All Shook Up, The Smell of the Kill, Voices in the Dark, Princesses, As Thousands Cheers, The Country Club, Rude Entertainment, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Jeffrey, Blown Sideways Through Life, Fires in the Mirror, Bunny Bunny and Das Barbecu. Jane Krakowski won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in the revival of Maury Yeston's Nine. She made her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express and later appeared in Tartuffe, Company, Once Upon a Mattress and Grand Hotel, earning Tony and Drama Desk nominations for her work in the latter. Other theatrical credits include the London revival of Guys and Dolls (Olivier Award), the City Center Encores! production of One Touch of Venus, Henceforward and a concert version of Mack and Mabel. Perhaps best known for her work as Elaine Vassal on TV's "Ally McBeal," Krakowski's additional screen credits include "Life Happens," "Mrs. Winterbourne," "Stepping Out," "Fatal Attraction," "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas," "Go," "Due South" and "Search for Tomorrow."


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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