The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center (The Carnegie) begins its 2012-13 Theatre Series with the funny and feel-good roller skating Broadway musical XANADU. Based (often satirically) on the 1980 Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly film of the same title, XANADU features pop hits including "Evil Woman," "I'm Alive" and "Magic." The production receives its local professional premiere in The Carnegie's Otto M. Budig Theatre weekends August 11 – 26, 2012, under the direction of lauded former Cincinnatian Alan Patrick Kenny. Tickets are $19 - $26 and are available online at www.thecarnegie.com or by calling The Carnegie Box Office at (859) 957-1940 (open Tu – Fr, noon – 5 p.m.).
XANADU is presented by Mark & Rosemary Schlachter.
XANADU is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
Beautiful Greek muse Kira has journeyed from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, California in a quest to inspire struggling chalk artist Sonny to create the most resplendent work of art the world has ever known… the roller disco! But can Sonny capture the imagination of a jaded landlord to save his disco from the wrecking ball, and will Kira's jealous muse sisters destroy Sonny and Kira's forbidden love?
XANADU is an "all skate" of '80s pop rock pandemonium, featuring musical hits including "Magic," "All Over The World," "I'm Alive," "Suddenly" and "Evil Woman."
Returning to The Carnegie to helm XANADU is Sycamore High School grad and recent UCLA masters alumnus Alan Patrick Kenny, best known locally for his artistic leadership of the bygone theatre company New Stage Collective. Kenny's most recent credit at The Carnegie was an award-winning 2009 staging of another movie musical, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, which, like XANADU, paired him with Carnegie Managing Director of Theatre, high school classmate and New Stage Collective (NSC) co-founder Joshua Steele. Recipient of the Acclaim Awards Rising Star scholarship and myriad other local arts honors, Kenny is thrilled to return to his former home before taking a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point this fall.
"XANADU is the quintessentially perfect summer show: fabulous and addictive tunes, a hysterical script that celebrates the original film's ridiculousness and an OIympian company rollerskating their tails off and working those leg warmers," raves Kenny. "I'm thrilled to be back at The Carnegie working again in the Cincinnati theatre scene - I've missed this community terribly, and am glad to be returning with a show that is positively gleeful with joy and heart, and not afraid to laugh at itself a little."
The venue and community aren't the only elements of XANADU familiar to Kenny, whose team and cast includes a number of old friends. Nationally-demanded performer Margaret-Ellen Jeffreys* returns to Cincinnati and makes her Carnegie debut in the lead role of Kira, the Greek muse who seeks to inspire Sonny to create a roller disco. In addition to NSC productions of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Petra) and DEAD CITY (various) under Kenny's direction, Jeffreys has been seen in many Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park productions, including THE FANTASTICKS (Luisa) and THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS, THE MUSICAL! (June). XANADU also reunites Kenny with production music director Brian D. Hoffman, a recent CCM doctoral alumnus who has collaborated with Kenny on DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS as well as CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at NSC; and with Broadway veteran choreographers Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard, who last worked with Kenny on his NSC production of THE FULL MONTY.
XANADU will also represent Carnegie debuts for a number of gifted local professional actors. Best known locally for her award-winning work at The Covedale Center and Showboat Majestic, Eileen Earnest is comedic sidekick to XANADU villainess Melpomene, played by prolific Cincinnati Shakespeare Company member and go-to comedienne Miranda McGee. Popular Covedale and community theatre leading man Rick Kramer takes on the Gene Kelly role of money-hungry landlord Danny Maguire, the foil to clueless chalk artist Sonny, played by CCM Musical Theatre standout Blaine Krauss.