Friday, June 29, 2007

Xanadu, the Movie

Sunday I am going to see Xanadu on Broadway. In preparation for this, last night, my Honey and I sat down to watch the movie. This movie was made in 1980 and starred Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly. It definitely lived up to expectations as one of the worst movies ever made. However, the music is fantastic, many of the songs became hits for Olivia Newton John and ELO. The music is the reason we are going to see the show.

The story line sounds fine on paper. Olivia Newton John plays a muse who comes alive and convinces a young artist to help a retired musician realize his dream of opening a night club. The same muse appeared to this musician as a young man. So who is the muse really there for? The elder or the younger? Doesn't really matter, she helps them both.

Gene Kelly plays the older musician, and he looks great. In the theatre production his role will be played by Tony Roberts, another favorite of mine.

The sets, the costumes, the dance numbers are all ridiculous even for 1980. Even though I was a teenager when this movie was made, I identify more with the Glenn Miller style music, costumes and dancing as envisioned by Gene Kelly in the movie, than with the jarring 1980 rock, silly costumes, and unimpressive dancing envisioned by the young artist.

My Honey heard that some critics blame this movie for the decline of the movie musical. Wouldn't surprise me. Actually, I am more excited to see the show on Broadway, now that I have the music fresh in my head. I think the story is supposedly refreshed, and as a theatre production, Xanadu will outshine the movie.

I will let you know! Tune in next week!

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