Opera & Musical Theater

Relive The ’80s: Xanadu At Stages Repertory Theatre

Lead cast members perform songs from the show in the Geary Studio.

When the movie “Xanadu” was released in 1980 it was panned by critics. In fact, the romantic musical fantasy, starring Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly, was what inspired John J.B. Wilson to create the Golden Raspberry Awards (or “Razzies”), given annually for the worst movies of the year. “Xanadu” was nominated for seven Razzies and won for Worst Director (Robert Greenwald).

And yet, the soundtrack album was a commercial success; it went Double Platinum in the US and Gold in the UK, and produced five Top 20 singles.

The cult status of the movie led Douglas Carter Beane to create a musical based on “Xanadu” featuring music by Jeff Lynne (of ELO fame) and John Farrar (Olivia Newton-John’s longtime producer and co-producer of the movie “Grease”). It opened on Broadway in 2007 and ran for over 500 performances. It earned an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Best Book. It was also nominated for Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book.

Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre is currently presenting “Xanadu” through July 20. Lead cast members Holland Vavra and Cameron Bautsch, director & choreographer Mitchell Greco, and musical director Steven Jones join Houston Public Media’s St.John Flynn in the Geary Studio to talk about and sing numbers from the show.

Watch video of performances from “Xanadu” filmed in the Geary Performance Studio here.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

General Assignment Reporter

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz is originally from Spain. He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast news and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master's degree...

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