Xanadu Sets New Opening Date

News   Xanadu Sets New Opening Date
Xanadu, the new musical based on the 1980 Universal Pictures film of the same name, has announced a new opening date, following the injury of one of its leads, James Carpinello, who played the role of Sonny.

Kerry Butler in Xanadu.
Kerry Butler in Xanadu. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The musical at the Helen Hayes Theatre, which had originally scheduled a June 26 opening, will now officially open July 10. Previews began May 23.

As previously announced, Cheyenne Jackson, who starred in a workshop production of Xanadu, will step into the role of Sonny. Jackson will begin performances on June 22.

In a recent statement Jackson said, "I'm excited to join the cast of Xanadu while James Carpinello recovers — my heart goes out to him, as he spent months working on this project, only to be injured so close to opening night. I am honored to borrow his skates. I owe a lot to (director) Christopher Ashley & (writer) Douglas Carter Beane and would gladly paint their apartments if they called and asked."

Andre Ward, Carpinello's understudy who usually plays the part of Terpsicore, assumed the role of Sonny at the June 12 evening performance. Ward will play the role until Jackson joins the company.

Xanadu also features Kerry Butler as Kira, Tony Roberts as Danny Maguire/Zeus, Curtis Holbrook as Thalia, Anika Larsen as Euterpe, Kenita Miller as Erato, Mary Testa as Melpomene/Medusa, Jackie Hoffman as Calliope/Aphrodite, André Ward as Terpsicore and Marty Thomas as a Featured Skater. Directed by Christopher Ashley, Xanadu features choreography by Dan Knechtges and musical direction and arrangements by Eric Stern. The design team includes David Gallo (scenic design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), David Zinn (costume design), T. Richard Fitzgerald and Carl Casella (sound design), Zachary Borovay (projections design) and Charles LePoint (wig and hair design). John Miller is music coordinator.

Xanadu boasts a book by Little Dog Laughed playwright Douglas Carter Beane — a 2007 Tony Award nominee — and utilizes songs from John Farrar and Jeff Lynne's film soundtrack. The musical, according to press notes, "tells the story of one of the nine muses of ancient Greece who comes to earth to inspire the greatest of artistic achievements – a roller disco. Along the way she falls in love, bumps into an old acquaintance and for the first time, feels the desire to create herself."

Xanadu, which is performed without an intermission, features the songs "I'm Alive," "Magic," "Evil Woman," "Suddenly," "Whenever You're Away From Me," "Dancin'," "Strange Music," "All Over the World," "Don't Walk Away," "Fool," "The Fall," "Suspended in Time," "Have You Never Been Mellow?" and "Xanadu."

The 1980 film "Xanadu" was written by Richard Christian Danus and Marc Reid Rubel and was directed by Robert Greenwald.

The performance schedule is Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

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

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