The Royal Crown Players of Roslyn High School are back at it again presenting their absurdity on wheels, the award-winning and “you are going to have a great time musical,” Xanadu. Reliving the 80s nostalgia of romantic comedies, legwarmers and roller disco, the musical is a classic tale of boy meets girl, except that this girl is actually Greek muse Kira performed by Kelly Frank, sent from the heavens to Venice Beach, CA to help struggling artist, Sonny portrayed by Mark Russ to achieve his greatest dream, to open the first roller disco. When Kira falls into forbidden love with this mortal, two of her jealous sisters, Melpomene (Bryn Goldstein) and Calliope (Jordan Resnick) take advantage of the situation with the other Muses along with greedy real estate mogul, Danny Maguire performed by T. J. Sheppard and a host of other heavenly bodies that complete a recipe of chaos with abounding absurdity. The show is guaranteed to have you laughing and enjoying a RCP evening of magnificent entertainment.
Performances will be Thursday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Roslyn High School auditorium.
Xanadu features the music of the Electric Light Orchestra and a legendary score by Jeff Lynne and John Ferrar which includes Top 40 hits as “Magic,” “All Over The World,” “Suddenly,” “I’m Alive,” “Evil Woman,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Xanadu.”
Asked how he chose this musical for production, director Brad Frey who directed over thirty-two RCP productions said, “I wanted to do a work that was fun, musical and entertaining with a touch of absurdity that creates an interactive work of musical theater. We seat a number of audience members onstage to complete the intimacy of our performers to the audience along with a stage built into the auditorium. Xanadu is that musical and of course the hit score and music of the Electric Light Orchestra with roller skating puts an explanation point on the whole show. I always want to do something new and different, and this show had the wheels.”
The original 1980 film version starring Hollywood heavyweights Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly was a surprise flop while the 2007 Broadway musical version was a surprise hit. Xanadu the musical ran on Broadway for over 500 performances and was nominated for multiple Tony awards. It also received both an Outer Critics Circle Award as well as a Drama Desk award. During its run The New York Times raved, “Heaven on wheels!” And The New Yorker called Xanadu “the most fun you’ll have on Broadway.” Frey added, “it will be the most fun you will ever have on this stage with its facsimile roller rink, and you absolutely won’t be able to sit still.”
Rounding out the cast are the chorus of Muses played by: Ben Heller as Terpsichore, Maya Behiri as Euterpe, Josh Fried as Thalia, Caroline Aruanno as Erato, and Rose Verde along with Sydney Sirota as Polyhymnia and Urania respectively. Watching from Mount Olympus players are Jonathan Schatzberg as Zeus, Isabella Soffer as Hera, Abigail Drucker as Medusa, Oliver Topel as Eros and Alex Russ as Cyclops.
To purchase or reserve tickets, visit their web site at royalcrownplayers.org or call the box office at 516-801-5156. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students. Roslyn Gold Card members can attend the Thursday matinee for free, but must register in advance with the Gold Card office, 516-801-5090. Put on your dancing shoes or roller skates and come see Xanadu.
—Submitted by the Roslyn School District