"Xanadu" Roller Skates Again Off-Broadway

by | March 27, 2006 | Comments

Of course! 1980’s roller skate disco drama "Xanadu" flopped in at the movies because it wasn’t wasn’t meant for the big screen, it was meant for the stage!

Such is the logic behind the latest film-to-stage adaptation, as Variety reports the musical will debut off-Broadway around this time next year. For those who may not remember, "Xanadu" starred a sexagenarian Gene Kelly as a musician who helps a young artist build (what else?) a rock ‘n’ roll disco roller rink, with Olivia Newton-John as one of the Greek muses sent to earth by Zeus to help out. Romance, roller skating and 80’s rock ‘n’ roll ensue, naturally.

"Xanadu," which currently entertains a 25% score on the Tomatometer, grossed $22 million when it opened in 1980 — not much, considering it cost $20 million to produce. Among its nominations and honors, 2005’s Razzie Award for "Worst Musical of Our First 25 Years" topped its Razzie nominations for 1981’s Worst Actress, Worst Actor, Worst Original Song, Worst Director, and more, although it has since become a cult classic.

"Xanadu" will roll into an undisclosed Off-Broadway venue in spring of 2007, and will feature songs from the original soundtrack: "Music will be taken from the pic, which starred Olivia Newton-John. Roster of songs, written by John Farrar and former Electric Light Orchestra member Jeff Lynne, includes Newton’s chart-topper "Magic.""

Pic joins the ranks of recent stage opener "The Lord of The Rings," which leveraged its $24 million production cost, four-hour running, musical version of Tolkien’s tale against millions of Peter Jackson-spawned hobbit fans in Toronto. Check out Cinematical’s blog for some juicy theater crit quotes.

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