Xanadu features a book by Douglas Carter Beane. Readings of the musical, which utilizes songs from the movie's soundtrack, were held April 21, 2006, and Aug. 3, 2006, in Manhattan. Beane, who is currently represented on Broadway with The Little Dog Laughed, previously told Playbill.com that Rob Ahrens planned to produce a commercial production of Xanadu Off-Broadway this spring. The musical, produced by Ahrens and Dan Vickery, will now open on Broadway instead.
Although no casting has been announced, the industry paper says that Jane Krakowski and Cheyenne Jackson, who took part in a previous workshop of the show, will likely be part of the Broadway company.
The Aug. 3 reading of Xanadu featured 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 utilized songs from the movie's soundtrack; Eric Stern was musical director.
Xanadu, according to a recent casting notice for an upcoming January 2007 reading, 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.
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.