Saturday, February 08, 2014

REVIEW: “Xanadu” at The Empress Theatre

8Photo credit for all pictures in this review go to
Deanne Rutledge Jones

The Empress Theatre

February 7, 2014 – March 1, 2014
(Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays)

It doesn’t get much better than a spoof of an 80s roller skating movie, and that’s what The Empress Theatre has done with their current production, Xanadu.

My 10 year old daughter and I had a girls’ night out to go see it, and she has deemed Xanadu her “favorite play so far” at The Empress. On the way home she couldn’t stop talking about wanting to go roller skating, and seeing the production again with more people. When we got home, she watched the Xanadu movie on Amazon, and was bored with it. She said the production was so much better!

“We all need a little laughter, a little romance and a little roller skating in our lives,” said Jake Andersen, director of Xanadu at The Empress. “Xanadu is arguably one of the worst, most confusing movies ever made. But through the charm of Olivia Newton John, Gene Kelly and the fantastic music of Electric Light Orchestra, it has become a cult hit.”

As a child of the 80s, watching the cast of Xanadu exaggerate the silliness of the movie was hilarious and lots of fun to watch. Who would have thought leg warmers could be a hero of the show?!

We attended opening night, which was Cast B. The lead roles of Kira/Cilo and Sonny Malone were played by Sammi Arsuffi and Travis Hall. We were impressed by Hall’s vocal talent, and the way that Arsuffi played an enchanting muse come alive from a painting. How they were able to deliver their lines without cracking up always seems to impress me. We were hardly able to contain ourselves! They won us over during their comedic performance of Suddenly, and had us glued to them for the duration of the production.

Two other stand-out stars of the production were Kira’s meddling sisters, Melopmene and Calliope, played by Lindy Davis and Connie Beaty. It was obvious they had fun playing their parts, and we loved watching their interaction with the audience.

“The show is witty, romantic, and all together whimsical,” Andersen said. “Even the non-musical fan can’t help but laugh with Xanadu.”

The cast of Xanadu is one that every person played their role well. It is a fun, family night out or date night, and I highly recommend going to see it. I dare you not to sing along with the music!

The Empress Theatre is located in Magna at 9104 West 2700 South. You can purchase tickets online or at the box office.

I was provided with two complimentary tickets to attend and write my review. I was not compensated for my review, nor was I required or persuaded to write any specific type of review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are all my own.




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