Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Let's call a disco ball a disco ball: Xanadu is just another bit of self-referential pomp and substanceless circumstance to grace the Broadway stage. Douglas Carter Beane's book bleeds new one-liners across the shallow remnant of the movie version, director Christopher Ashley manages to make the play look as if it's been more than just bedazzled, and performances from Jackie Hoffman and Mary Testa keep the balloon afloat with their helium ranges. The good and bad songs balance each other out, but there's not much variety: "Evil Woman" and "Suddenly," are the opposite ends of the show, and "Strange Magic" and "Dancin'" come across as very good reiterations of the same poles. The play can't afford any dead spots in what's already a brisk 85 minute laugh-off; unfortunately, Tony Roberts isn't alive, no matter how much the chorus of Muses may try to sing that one off, and while Kerry Butler and Cheyenne Jackson are pitch-perfect, her Australian rendition of Olivia Newton-John didn't make me laugh, and his vapid beach artist only had that one dimension to it. So you tell me where's the love.
[Read on] [Also reviewed by: David | Patrick]