Xanadu: Bad can become good
Jett Pangan (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Stuff that blighted humanity during the ‘80s: Baggy acid wash jeans, The Mullet, Debbie Gibson... and movies like Xanadu. While I had a huge crush on Olivia Newton-John back in her heyday, I thought Xanadu and Physical should be omitted from her bios, and from public consciousness altogether.

Then, more than two decades later, somebody came up and said, “let’s put Xanadu on the stage!” If you were traumatized by all the spandex and pastel neons and sugary synthesizers that pounded on the ‘80s and therefore went into seclusion until you discovered Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, then you’d probably want to find the perpetrator’s house and burn effigies of El Debarge on his front yard.

Well, let me tell you that even Mel Brooks won’t do a better job of creating the utterly hilarious tongue-in-cheek staging of a A Fantasy. A Musical. A Place Where Dreams Come True (that’s what it says on the original movie poster I saw on Wikipedia). I watched the pre-opening night performance at the RCBC theatre with a friend and remember just laughing throughout the no-intermission, one-hour-and-a-half-and-change musical comedy featuring a small cast of theatre supertalents led by Rachel Alejandro, Felix Rivera, Noel Trinidad and Chari Arespacochaga. It is wickedly, brilliantly funny! Who would’ve thought that a sappy love song like Suddenly, which became a Billboard Top 40 sensation, can be resurrected onstage with the sole purpose of leaving you in stitches?

1980. A Greek muse, Clio (Rachel Alejandro), descends from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, CA in a bid to inspire struggling artist Sonny (Felix Rivera) to achieve his dream: An art gallery-cum-roller disco. However, Clio, in her disguise as an Australian skater girl named Kira, falls in love with the musclebound mortal. As this is forbidden by the gods, Clio’s jealous sisters take advantage of the romance to push her towards eternal banishment to the underworld.

Directed by Bobby Garcia for Atlantis Productions, Xanadu the Musical is what you need right now to momentarily get away from it all! Book by Douglas Carter Beane, Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar.

Xanadu, the surprise hit Broadway musical runs until Sept. 19, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Makati City. For ticket and show information, log on to www.atlantisproductionsinc or call 892-7078 or 840-1187.

A FANTASY A GREEK A MUSICAL ATLANTIS PRODUCTIONS BOBBY GARCIA CARLOS P DEBBIE GIBSON DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE FELIX RIVERA RACHEL ALEJANDRO XANADU
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