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December 12, 2011

WITTY, CHARMING XANADU!








Jesus Matinez Jr. and Chloe Condon.  Photo: Lois Tema
XANADU – A MUSICAL SPECTACULAR TRUIMPH!


XANADU IS A LOVE STORY, A ROLLER SKATING STORY, AND IT IS FULL OF SURPRISES

What a wonderful dancing, comedy and roller skating trip. Wide-eyed lovers (a Muse and a young man) accidentally fall for each other. She is the quirky and exuberant Joie and he is a naïve sexy young man that is just as ditzy as his newfound love. Their mission is to try to resurrect an old Theatre to make magic and Art. But, first they have to deal with an older cranky landlord that wants to tear the Theatre down. Gee – sounds like San Francisco’s Fox Theatre days.  Hello Mr. “C”.

There is no denying the extreme comic energy of this cast as they sing the insanely pleasurable, romping musical score (directed by G. Scott Lacy).

The Set looks like crumbling Greek columns with genius lighting. And, it certainly is the only time that I’ve seen raucous roller-skating rides around Greek treasures. Yes, Xanadu is a recipe for nutso fun!

The Young man (Jesus Martinez Jr.) says to his newfound blonde beauty Kira – (Chloe Condon) – “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” Sez Sonny.  “ Yeh,  -- You’re probably right.” -- (Kira sez).

One of the actors says to Sonny – “Ummm- BIG HANDS, BIG FEET – that’s the story I want to hear!” Confused? – You’ll figure it out. Or if you’re that naïve – then forget about it.

Briefly: The story is based on the 1980 cult film, Xanadu. A beautiful Greek Muse (Clio descends from Mt. Olympus to inspire Sonny who is looking for a space where he can create art and culture. Clio/Kira disguises herself as an Australian roller girl named Kira. But she is forbidden to fall in love with the mortal Sonny. Ooops…too late – she falls into forbidden love.  And I won’t tell you he ending.

Of course, the whole thing is a crazy -- 1980’s enjoyable spoof. And what is it today? An incredible -- 2011 fabulous spoof on the stage.

Perfect endings are hard to come by but this charming little musical makes it more than perfect.

And for that: Thanks STEPHANIE TEMPLE for the Great Direction and Choreography.

The Book is written by the talented writer DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE. He famed for “As Bees in Honey Drown” – among many others and many awards.


THE FABULOUS MUSIC AND LYRICS ARE BY JEFF LYNNE AND JOHN.  FARRAR. Thanks for the fun Guys.

THE AMAZING CAST IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. They Are:  Chloe Condon (Kira) – Jesus Martinez Jr. (Sonny) – Joe Wicht (Danny Zeus) – Jamelee Roberts (as Calliope and Aphrodite) – Nikki Arias (Melopmene and Medusa) – Angel Burgess (plays five different roles) – Molly Kruse (plays five different roles) – Nathan Marken (Plays four different roles) and Alex Rodriquez (Plays five different roles). And to them I say:

YOU ARE ALL HILARIOUS, SHOCKING AND BRAZENLY HONEST. You left me gasping and gagging with laughter!

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating)–trademarked-


FOLLOW LEE: Facebook @ Lee Hartgrave
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he has produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))
Twitter @ Famereporter


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