One of the more cerebral angles of the play sets up a parallel between Sonny's pop-rock era and Danny's big-band one. We flashback to a young Danny musing away with Clio, who this time is southern and named Kitty (their names are a nod to the protagonists of the 1947 Rita Hayworth film Down to Earth, of which the film Xanadu was, believe it or not, a remake itself). And we're treated to the music of Danny's day, a three-girl Andrews Sisters-style outfit singing harmonies, and the stellar tap dancing of Young Danny (Buddy Reeder), which to my mind is a highlight of the show. Are we meant to breathe a sigh of affectionate relief when the 1940s tunes start up? Not long thereafter, the performers of Danny and Sonny's respective visions dance first separately and then, in a lovely bit of choreography, together. In this sweet little synthesis of the two youth cultures is one of the show's few straight-faced contentions: The Muses may go into retreat for duration of the Reagan era, but the kids, thank goodness, still gotta dance.
Megan Grumbling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
XANADU | Book by Douglas Carter Beane | Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar | Directed and choreographed by Marc Robin | Musical Direction by Jason Wetzel | Produced by Maine State Music Theatre, in Brunswick | through August 6 | 207.725.8769
, Gene Kelly, Musicals, Theater, More