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June 1, 2012

XANADU -- SPINNING TALES OF LOVE





The unflappable Tim Homsley (Sonny) loves his skates. Courtesy Photo












POP/ROCK AND BEYOND

Get out those skates  cause you are about to go on a magical journey. A young man who has dreams of bringing back to life an old Theater that has been closed for years. He has dreams that may not come true. There are some bumps along the way as a Greek muse, Kira descends from the heavens to Venice Beach, California. Kira and Sonny skate around each other and well, they kinda, fall in love and make the Theater Dream come true. 

She meets up with Sonny, a struggling artist. He not only wants to make canvas come alive, he also wants to turn an abandoned Theater into the first ROLLER DISCO! Remember, we are now in 1980ís time. There are problems with the well-oiled skates. Kira falls into forbidden love with the handsome and charming Sonny. However, Kira's sisters are jealous witches that whip up all the magic they can to destroy the romance between Kira and Sonny.

This is pure Theater. Each Actor fills the magic with astounding sparkly visions. This comedy cocktail will definitely give you a buzz. There is a treasure trove of beautiful tunes, a madcap plot and visual inventive delights. Then there are the frothy, fabulous costumes and the beautiful sets. Believe me you will be astounded with the romantic moments. It's a choreography marvel!

The music is heavenly. You'll recognize fragments of Mama Mia. And songs like "I'm Alive", "Magic" and "Dancin" and that's just a beginning. The basket of tunes takes us up to Mount Olympus. Oh yes - it really is heavenly up there in the clouds where the non-mortal Zeus sits on his Throne. And we are not talking about Apple Mac Clouds. They didn't do computers in those days.

All in all Xanadu, is a rip-roaring, ridiculous entertainment. It's pure exhilaration!

YOU CAN'T RESIST THE ACTORS. THEY ARE THE BEST! And here they are: Tim Homsley (Sonny) is electrifyingly. He could charm the butterflies off the trees. He should put that charisma in a bottle and sell it! He IS every Broadway character actor you ever wanted to see.

Brittany Danielle (Clio/Kira) plays the Muse love interest of Sonny. She is bold, refreshing, lucid, and insightful.  Terrific! Instantly won us over!

All the Actors give us summer smiles. I can't tell you how wonderfully expert everyone was. But I was overwhelmed with the whip-smart cast. You are ALL brilliant! Mark Farrell, Catherine Gloria, Sharon Rietkerk, Dyan McBride, Maureen McVerry, Evan Boomer, Tom Reardon, Ben Bogen and Taylor Jones.

Xanadu is a Triumph. It's a Triumph for the Center Rep and one the funniest pleasures on this years stages. 

Hooray's for: Michael Butler, Artistic Director, Scott Denison, Managing Director, Kelly Tighe -- Scenic Designer is Marvelous. Sound Design by Jeff Mockus is really crisp. Not a note was missed. Costume Designer is Victoria Livingston-Hall and Lighting Designer is by Kurt Landisman really know their stuff. And there is more. Jeff Collister Director - kept those roller skates moving. And Brandon Adams did a bang up job with the musical direction. The fabulous Choreography by Jennifer Perry is more than excellent!

NOW PLAYING AT THE LESHER CENTER IN WALNUT CREEK

RATING: Four glasses of champagne!!!! (highest rating)-trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))


 Scroll Down for "Hysteria" - "Clipping" and other Stories
 LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT WILL REVIEW "THE FULL MONTY" BY 'RAY OF LIGHT THEATRE' AT THE EUREKA THEATRE IN SAN FRANCISCO.




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