Yesterday we headed over to the Helen Hayes Theater on West 44th Street to see our first show. We settled into our (great) seats and flipped through the Playbill. We were both a little skeptical (um, a musical based on a monumental cinematic flop?), but we were both game.
We were so wrong to be skeptical. Lord forgive us, we knew not what we did. We hadn’t known the pleasures of . . . Xanadu!
What Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed) and Jeff Lynne did is brilliant. They took a maligned box office disaster and played up all the jokes about it and spun it into Broadway gold, a truly delicious musical comedy. Honestly, this is the funniest musical we’ve ever seen on Broadway. (We saw Spelling Bee on Adult Night, which came close, but Xanadu still kinda won.) The audience giggled, guffawed, chortled, and plain old screamed laughter through the whole 90-minute non-stop show.
The plot is deliciously ridiculous: A Greek goddess appears in Venice Beach, California, in the 1980s to inspire a sidewalk chalk artist to greater things—like starting a roller disco in an abandoned building!—while the Greek goddess’s six sisters (two of whom are male) lurk and plot and schtick around on the sidelines. Oh, and most of the show is performed while on roller skates. Score! It's oh so wrong that it's oh so right. And, yes, there’s a dance number in a telephone booth and a Greek goddess riding a merry-go-round horse high in the air while belting a pop rock number.
And it’s all wonderful. Perfect. Hilarious. Great voices, fantastic deadpan humor, an Australian accent that will leave you incontinent, and great dance performances. There are even songs I want to download on iTunes from the show. How many musicals have you seen lately that you can say that about, right?
Kerry Butler as Kira, the Greek goddess, is amazing. (If Nicole Kidman and Sarah Michelle Gellar had a love child, it would be Kerry Butler.) She’s hilarious, she can sing, she’s gorgeous, and she plays the material perfectly.
Cheyenne Jackson, from the moment he got on stage, had us drooling. And then, of course, there’s the gorgeous voice and deadpan comedic delivery that go with the jaw-dropping gams, chiseled face, and big soap opera smile. (He wears daisy dukes and short shorts most of the show. If you weren’t reaching for Ticketmaster already, you should be now.)
Kira’s sister goddesses, including those played by Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman, are really the cherries on top of a great show.
Basically, if we could go out on the town with any cast on Broadway, it would be the cast of Xanadu. (We eliminated Spring Awakening because they’re all, oh, five or six years younger than us, and if we wanted to play high school, we’d go out with the cast of The Hills. You know?)
We can’t say enough good stuff about the show. Josh and I were yelling out one-liners all the way down the street after we left the show. Ten minutes later, over slices of pizza, we were still laughing.
Tonight, continuing our JK Birthday Week Celebrations, we’re seeing Charles Busch’s Die Mommie Die at the New World Stages. We saw the hilarious film of the same name, starring Busch (natch!), and we can’t wait to see it all live. Long live Angela Arden!
The Movie To See This Weekend: Michael Clayton
So little needs to be said other than, “Go see this damn movie this weekend.”
Dylan and I saw the movie over the weekend and loved it. (Um, people, it’s George Clooney and Tilda Swinton. Hello!) George plays a law firm fixer who’s in a heap of trouble in his own life and then finds himself in more when he gets involved with a case involving a weed killer that’s killing people and weeds, a product and company defended by the amazing Ms. Swinton (Orlando, The Deep End).
It's smart, it's entertaining, it keeps you guessing and intrigued, and we actually get to know our well-drawn main characters and what makes them tick. It makes the final ten minutes of the movie—the ultimate booyah!—even more amazing.
Also (drum roll, please!) today is NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY!
Are you a big ol’ happy homo, an ever-so-lovely fruit fly (the positive form of “fag hag”, obvs), or a great big ally of the community?
If so, time to come out! Feel free to do so in the comments, y’all.