Friday, September 3, 2010

Xanadu in Manila: When wheels are in motion

“I’m alive!” and thanks to Atlantis Production in bringing Xanadu, a 2007 Broadway Musical Comedy at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium RCBC Plaza in Makati City from September 3-19. Xanadu is based from the 1980 movie featuring Olivia Newton John and Cliff Richard with the same title. In the Philippine presentation of the musical comedy it stars Rachel Alejandro as Cleo and Felix Rivera as Sonny Malone.

Xanadu the Musical Comedy follows Sonny Malone a struggling chalk mural artist in Venice Beach who became frustrated for not finishing his works. Cleo along with the rest of her sister muses descended to earth to inspire Sonny and to achieve the biggest and greatest artistic works in his life – to build a roller disco. Cleo disguises as Kira as an Australian tourist who wears roller skates and leg warmers to convince Sonny and other ordinary people that she is not a muse.

Watching Xanadu it brings back the 80’s era where roller skates and very short pants is considered fashionable and hip along with the bandanas and stripped white socks. The musical comedy is a collaboration of popular and easy to the heart songs and also my personal favorite like Suddenly, Magic, Don’t Walk Away and I’m Alive. As for the character, hands up to Rachel who did a wonderful performance in doing the role of Cleo, in a one-act play like Xanadu, putting 3 personality in one character and roller skating in most of the scenes is very hard especially in a stage that has small space. I also enjoyed the performance of two evil sisters Chari Arespacochaga and Yael Pineda and of course the rest of the muses who do double roles. Everyone should not missed the double, should I say more than two roles of the muses, running for costume change in between scenes is hard and challenging not to mention the mythical creatures. When I saw the performance on the VIP, partners and press preview night yes there are some technical glitches which I think they polished it on the actual performance, such as sounds and some actors almost lost balance while on their roller skates.

My verdict, Xanadu will always be a happy musical play, aside from the easy to remember songs that appeals to its viewers along with the humor that each character possessed. I enjoyed the musical comedy and I love the songs so much. The Altantis Production also includes performers like Noel Trinidad, Leo Rialp, Bea Garcia, Anthony Ong, Alys Serdenia, Glen Llanes, and Robbie Zialcita with set design by Lawyn Cruz, costume design by Twinkle Zamora, choreography by Cecile Martinez, musical direction by Ceejay Javier, lighting design by Jonsy Reyes and vocal coaching by ManMan Angsico.

For those who wanted to catch Xanadu in Manila they should call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078 or 840-1187 for ticket sales and reservations for more information about the seating arrangement and prices they should visit. visit

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