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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Xanadu the Musical @ The Grand Theatre (Salt Lake City:May 10-26, 2012)

Salt Lake City, UT – The Grand Theatre is presenting the lively musical Xanadu May 10-26, 2012 with 7:30 pm performances Thursday through Saturday, a 7:30 pm performance on Wednesday May 16, and 2:00 pm matinees on select Saturdays. Tickets can be purchased through the Grand Theatre box office at (801) 957-3322 or through the website www.the-grand.org.

Xanadu the Musical was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. Other awards include Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, given to Douglas Carter Beane. Music and Lyrics were composed and written by Jeff Lyne & John Farrar.

Director Jim Christian took on the challenge of creating what he calls a “skewering of the movie.” The movie is often touted as one of the top ten worst films of all time, but remains an audience favorite for the memorable music. Xanadu is a musical comedy based on the 1980 cult classic film of the same name. The film boasts songs from Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra that became commercial successes both within the soundtrack album and as hit singles. Xanadu the Musical retains the hit songs, but includes new arrangements of “I’m Alive,” “Magic,” “Suddenly,” and “Dancin’” by Eric Stern. New songs “Strange Magic” and “Evil Woman,” both by the Electric Light Orchestra, were added to the musical along with a new storyline.

The musical story revolves around Sonny Malone, an artist searching for inspiration. While far away, on Mount Olympus, the youngest daughter of Zeus tries to convince her eight sisters to accompany her to Sonny’s latest art creation, a mural of the Greek Muses, where they will come alive to inspire him. The youngest daughter calls herself Kira so her true identity can remain hidden and takes on a disguise of roller skates, leg warmers, and an Australian accent. Two of Kira’s sisters are jealous of Zeus’s affection for the youngest of his daughters and the sisters plot to trick her into falling in love with Sonny, thus breaking one of Zeus’s rules: a Muse must not fall in love with a mortal. Kira must find a way to help Sonny meet a real estate mogul so they can begin work on what will be Sonny’s greatest achievement: a roller disco.

The production, filled with “silly bliss” as one reviewer labeled it, only ran on Broadway for a short time. The Grand Theatre’s production stars Utah favorite Camille Gerber Van Wagoner as the evil Melpomene, Ashley Gardner Carlson as the blithe Kira, Sonny Bishop as discontented Sonny Malone, and Kim Blackett as real estate mogul Danny Maguire. The cast also includes Shelby Andersen as the conniving Calliope, Nicholas Morris as Thalia, Stacia Hardy as Euterpe, and William Richardson as Terpsicore. With Music Direction by Kevin Mathie and Choreography by Jim Christian, this production is sure to delight!
Play dates: May 10 through 26. Evening performances 7:30 pm. Wednesday May 16 performance at 7:30 pm – and select Saturday matinees at 2:00 pm. 
Location: The Grand Theatre, 1575 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Tickets: Prices are $10 - 24 for adults. Seniors and students receive a discounted rate. 
Reservations: 801-957-3322 or online at www.the-grand.org

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