Wednesday, December 10, 2008
If someone were to ask me what movies would make good musicals, never in a million years would I say the 1980 film Xanadu starring Olivia Newton-John. In case you've forgotten all the cheesy, bubble-gummy goodness, let me remind you with this little titular number:
Surprisingly, the whole let's-turn-it-into-a-musical-and-keep-the-roller-skating thing works! Xanadu was on Broadway in New York (and was nominated for multiple Tony Awards) and is currently on stage at the La Jolla Playhouse with Artistic Director Christopher Ashley directing (he also directed it on Broadway).
If you were in high school when the film came out and you're female and if you have gay friends to go see it with, I promise you'll have a blast For the rest of you, I can't promise you'll get every reference or know all the music, but I can tell you that the play is smart and cheeky and pure entertainment. On Sunday, I moderated a discussion on nostalgia and the 1980's after the matinee performance of Xanadu. I interviewed Professor David Serlin, who teaches in the Communications Department at UCSD. In fact, right now he's teaching a course called "American Television in the 1970's" and next year he's teaching a whole class on nostalgia. Here's are some excerpts of our conversation in front of a live audience.
As you can see, David and I had a lot of fun. Xanadu is on stage through December 31st. In fact, if you don't have New Years Eve plans, the Playhouse is hosting a big celebratory final performance called Xanadu Year's Eve. There's a glitzy after party catered by Wolfgang Puck, cabaret performances by some of the cast members, and, of course, a countdown to 2009. All the proceeds will benefit the Playhouse's new play development.