A Review of Xanadu


Photo courtesy Xanadu production photo. © 2013 Mark Kitaoka. Property of Village Theatre

Thank god for Danny. Through a blur of crazy ideas and impossible scenarios in the musical Xanadu, Danny seems at least somewhat rational. The premise of the musical (based on the 1980 movie starring Olivia Newton John) is a Greek muse named Kira comes down from Mount Olympus on rollerskates to persuade a young man named Sonny to open a roller disco. After they belt out a few tunes and swivel up and down the stage on their skates Sonny goes to plead with Danny, the property owner, to let him turn Danny’s rundown theater into a roller disco. Understandably, Danny smirks and explains what an idiotic idea this is. Hooray! Thank god for Danny. At least there is one character in this production that lives within proximity to reality.

And then … he starts dancing with an imaginary woman from his past, who is actually Kira (whose real name is actually Clio) who encouraged him to invest in art, not money many years ago. It’s really at this point that I had to throw my hands up. This production is ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense and … it doesn’t need to.

Once you give in and decide to dance into the fictional limelight this musical projects, you can enjoy it for everything it is.  The sarcasm is rich, the love story is over-the-top cheesy and the rollerskates make everything a little more interesting. The show itself is as fun as it is silly and the whole cast is in on the gag. There’s a gray line between the performers and the audience which makes for some entertaining (yet embarrassing) crowd involvement.

Jessica Skerritt is magnetic on wheels playing Kira across stage from her real life husband Dane Stokinger who plays Sonny. Jeff Steitzer has some stellar disco moves and Christine Riippi is fantastically funny opposite Lisa Estridge.

It’s a fun show that demands its audience not to take things too seriously. It will make you laugh but it won’t make you cry.


is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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