Xanadu, the campy film starring Olivia Newton-John from 1980 and Tony Award winning Broadway musical has taken over the stage at The Retro Dome and is nothing short of magnificent.
Sonny Malone is an artist – A struggling artist on the brink of suicide when he meets Kira, a roller skating blonde beauty with an exaggerated Australian accent. His life soon begins to change. Not only does the lovely woman with flowy hair and pink leg warmers captivate him, but through her he finally has the drive to push toward his dream of opening a roller disco.
Kira, however, cannot fall in love with a mortal (it’s forbidden after all), but her two mischievous sisters, Melpomene, the goddess of tragedy, and Calliope, the goddess of epics, place a curse on Kira with the goal of watching Kira not only fall in love with the goofy, dense Sonny, but be eternally damned.
Through a series of musical numbers, including “I’m Alive”, “Dancin’” and “Evil Woman”, the story plays out. Kira and Sonny fall in love while her cackling sisters sit back and enjoy the “tragic” and “epic” events as they unfold.
Once Kira realizes she broke one of the sacred muse rules, she goes to Mt. Olympus to accept her punishment. Sonny follows and the story climaxes, but it wouldn’t be fair to say how it ends. Those unfamiliar with the movie and stage show will have to get to The Retro Dome and see just how this tale plays out. It’s guaranteed to have you rolling with laughter and delight.
The casting for Xanadu is brilliant and even though Sarah Aili and Adam Barry make a wonderful team as Kira and Sonny, Hilary Little as Melpomene steals the show.
Aili’s Kira is everything one would expect it to be – she’s innocent yet strong, somewhat timid yet powerful and despite Barry pulling off the dimwitted Sonny with flair and fun, you’ll find yourself wondering what he does to get his legs so shapely and perfect (he was fantastic though – really!). Little was born for her role. Her cackle is great, her facial expressions are dead-on and her presence on the stage steals every scene she’s in.
Because of The Retro Dome’s size, the producers had numerous challenges. There is no way for Kira to feasibly fly on Pegasus to Mt. Olympus so Scott and Shannon Guggenheim got a little creative and the way they worked around the obstacles is absolutely hilarious. Think of the 1980s. Think of the poor, although state-of-the-art at the time, special effects. Think of every possible way they could have made it happen and yet you will still laugh when you see the solution. It fits right into the cheesy nature of the entire production.
Xanadu is ridiculously wonderful and a sheer pleasure. You’ll laugh, you’ll…well mostly you’ll laugh, but there really is no better way to spend an evening than at the theater enjoying this musical!
The Retro Dome is at 1694 Saratoga Avenue in the Westgate Shopping Center. Xanadu has been extended through May 8. Tickets are $44 and can be purchased through www.TheRetroDome.com or by calling the box office at 408-404-7711.