DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Birder Players will present eight performances of the 1980s-driven musical “Xanadu” starting next week in the troupe’s Broadway Theatre, 123 S. Broadway. Info: birderonbroadway.org.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Sept, 7, 8, 9; 4 p.m. Sept. 10; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 15, 16; and 2 p.m. Sept. 17.
The title song was one of the biggest hits for Olivia Newton-John, who acted in the 1980 movie of the same name and sang the majority of the songs on the soundtrack. The superstar died Aug. 8 at age 73 due to breast cancer.
The musical “Xanadu” follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, California, in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first roller disco.
Problem: Sonny is mortal, and the love-struck Kira is not – and thus her love is forbidden. Kira’s jealous sisters take advantage of the situation, and chaos abounds.
The comical roller skating, musical adventure is about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you.
The show features a book by Douglas Carter Beane and score composed by pop-rock legends Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Songs include “Magic,” “All Over the World,” “Suddenly,” “I’m Alive,” “Evil Woman,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Xanadu.” (Think of Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra with the score).
The show is based on the Universal Pictures’ cult classic movie of the same title, which starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly.
The 1980 movie was inspired by the 1947 film “Down to Earth” starring Rita Hayworth. The title refers to Xanadu, the site of the Mongolian emperor Kublai Kahn’s summer palace.
The musical opened on Broadway in 2007 and ran for more than 500 performances. It earned an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Best Book.