The Boiler Room Theatre (BRT), Williamson County's original and longest-running professional theatre company, skates into its 12th season with the Broadway musical Xanadu opening February 10th at the theatre's iconic namesake venue in the historic Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Rd., Building Six, in Franklin, Tenn. for a run through March 3.
This hilarious, roller-skating, musical adventure about following your dreams rolls along to the original hit score composed by pop-rock legends Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, including "Magic," "All Over the World," "Suddenly," "I'm Alive," "Evil Woman," "Have You Never Been Mellow," and "Xanadu," to name a few, and is based on the cult-classic movie that starred Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Gene Kelly.
Xanadu focuses on the Greek muse, Clio, who descends from Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, CA in 1980 to inspire Sonny, a frustrated artist, to achieve his greatest artistic feat – opening a roller disco. Cleverly using an Australian accent and wearing rollerskates to disguise herself, she unexpectedly falls in love with the young artist, breaking one of the sacred rules all muses abide by – creating the perfect opening for her jealous sisters to exploit the situation for their own gain.
"We've had such fun working on this show," said BRT Managing Director Corbin Green, who also directed this production. "Honestly, our lead actress spends the entire show on rollerskates, of all things. Our set includes a disco ball. If the audience doesn't have a great time at this musical, we are clearly doing something wrong."
On Broadway, Xanadu was an underdog. News that the 1980's cult film was to be adapted into a musical was met with disbelief and derision from the Broadway community. However, the show's recipe of including the best aspects of the movie (including all 5 of the top 20 hits that it generated), treating the rest of its material with a winking sense of humor and topping it all off with a healthy dose of outlandish 80's nostalgia led the show to both commercial and critical success. The show went on to be nominated for 4 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The book for Xanadu was written by Douglas Carter Beane with music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. It is loosely based on the 1980 cult classic of the same name, which starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, with a bit of the 1981 film, Clash of the Titans thrown in for good measure.
The cast of Xanadu stars BRT newcomers Jillian Gottlieb as Clio and Stephen Jones as Sonny. The cast also includes Dan McGeachy, Kay Ayers, Jordan Tudor, Humberto Figueroa, Cassidy Davis, Bryce Connor and Darci Wantiez. The show was choreographed by Billy Ditty and costumed by Katie Delaney. BRT Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director Jamey Green serves as musical director.
Performances will be held every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evening during the run at 8 p.m. There will also be select discount Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. and Thrifty Thursday shows at 8 p.m. (For specific Sunday and Thursday show dates, please visit BoilerRoomTheatre.com) Ticket prices are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors (age 60 and up) and students (age 13 through college with valid ID), and $21 for children ages 3 through 12. Matinee prices are $2 less respectively. All Tuesday shows are two-for-one ($27 for two tickets; no other discounts apply). Thrifty Thursdays continue and allow Guests to beat the weekend crowds and grab tickets at the bargain price of $17. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Boiler Room Theatre at 615-794-7744 or ordered online at BoilerRoomTheatre.com.