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XANADU ON BROADWAY




In 2001, producer Rob Ahrens attended a showing of Xanadu Live! in Los Angeles.  He liked it so much that he, along with lead co-producers Brian Swibel and Tara Smith, began a five-year process of acquiring the rights for what was originally intended to be an off-Broadway production of Xanadu.  Workshops and readings were held in New York in 2006, with actress Jane Krakowski slated to play the lead role of Kira.  When the Helen Hayes Theatre was found to be available, the production went from off-Broadway to Broadway.  Due to scheduling issues, Jane Krakowski was not able to take part in the production, and Kerry Butler was brought in to play the role of Kira.  James Carpinello was brought in to play the role of Sonny, and Tony Roberts took on the role of Danny.  The cast also included Broadway veterans Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman, along with Curtis Holbrook, Andre Ward, Kenita Miller, and Anika Larsen.  Writer Douglas Carter Beane was hired to write the script, which was very different from the movie and played up the humorous aspect.  All of the original songs from the film were included, with two classic Electric Light Orchestra songs ("Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic") and one Olivia Newton-John song ("Have You Never Been Mellow") added in.

Previews began on May 23, 2007, with an opening scheduled for June 26.  When James Carpinello broke his foot while rollerskating during a rehearsal, Cheyenne Jackson was brought in to play Sonny, and the opening was rescheduled for July 10.  Olivia Newton-John and songwriter John Farrar attended the opening night and after-party.  The show received mostly positive reviews from the critics and sold out many times.  The Broadway show closed on September 28, 2008, and toured the United States in 2009 and 2010.


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