Wednesday 20 June 2012

Xanadu promises zany fun

Glimpse : Take the music of Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra and have it collide with the mania of 4-wheel roller derby in 1980 Los Angeles.

Remember the Olivia Newton John disco song called “Xanadu” ? This is a  90-minute comedy sprung by that song but add the roller skates, add Chorus Line leg warmers, Greek muses, a sidewalk chalk artist, creativity block, potential suicide, two “ugly sisters” and the threat of condominium development in Los Angeles DTES. Say what ? Christopher Isherwood of the New York Times called it a musical both “indefensible and irresistible”.

Does it work ? Slickity tunes and slickity costumes will a join a bunch of slickity characters, we’re promised, and from what I’ve read the dialogue is wonderful cheesy. For me, the Jeff Lynne songs “Strange Magic” and “Dancin’” alone would be enough to make me go because I’m a sentimental slob when I feel like it.

Xanadu was a huge hit in New York in 2007-2008, so I find it  Unimaginable! that a professional troupe under Director Dean Paul Gibson could fail to produce the summer’s feel-good winner. Proof will be in how well the ball bearings spin along with the 8-track tunes.

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