Tuesday, September 10, 2019

reviews - XANADU - Arizona Broadway Theatre

Liz Fallon and Sal Pavia (front); Renée Kathleen Koher and Julie Galorenzo (back)
photo by Scott Samplin

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through September 29.

"...The romantic musical comedy Xanadu... based on the 1980 flop movie musical...may fall far short of Mamma Mia!, the hugely successful jukebox musical that also features popular songs from that period, and some audience members may not quite get that it's a spoof, Xanadu is campy fun with a dozen familiar tunes and a huge amount of charm. Arizona Broadway Theatre's production features a talented cast who all have lovely vocals and good comic skills that make this a fun and silly romp.
...The musical features all of the hit songs from the movie, including "Magic," "Suddenly," and "I'm Alive," along with the title tune as well as other ELO songs like "Evil Woman," plus the huge Newton-John hit, "Have You Never Been Mellow." While the plot follows the screenplay somewhat, Douglas Carter Beane added additional elements that poke fun at the '80s, Greek mythology, and even the trend to turn movies into stage musicals. The jokes fly fast, though not all of them quite land, and the story moves along briskly while the songs are all incorporated fairly well to flow naturally from the characters thoughts and actions....Sal Pavia and Liz Fallon make a fun couple as Sonny and Clio. They both have warm, bright and clear singing voices that deliver gorgeous versions of familiar pop-rock songs. ...Julie Galorenzo and Renée Kathleen Koher are comic gold as Clio's two scheming sisters. They both chew as much scenery as possible, get big laughs, and deliver soaring vocals... a phenomenal score of well-known ballads and love songs. While it is a silly show with a very silly plot, it has charm in spades and several laugh out loud moments. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but with a great cast and inspired creative aspects, Arizona Broadway Theatre's production sure makes for an infectious and humorous affair." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...for all its hokiness, the musical now on stage at Arizona Broadway Theatre elicits a fair amount of audience appreciation, although more likely by an older generation for whom many of the dated references and lines still fall flat...The work is campy ~ tiers of silliness and scenery-chewing salvaged only by the memorable menu of Lynne & Farrar pop hits and the standout (albeit unsteady-on-their-skates) performances of (Liz) Fallon and (Sal) Pavia...For exhilarating moments of comic relief, the dynamic duo of Renée Kathleen Koher (Calliope) and Julie Galorenzo (Melpomene) blast Evil Woman and Strange Magic way beyond the theatre's roof beams. Koher, who last appeared at ABT (and was terrific!) as Morticia in THE ADDAMS FAMILY, demonstrates her tremendous range and versatility in the role of a clearly twisted sister muse..." - Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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