Music, fun rolls through 'Xanadu'

While the funny fantasy film "Xanadu" wasn't a commercial success, it's getting a new theatrical take with Laguna Beach's No Square Theatre's adaption opening Saturday.

Known for women in roller skates and an award-winning soundtrack featuring Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra, the 1980 film eventually acquired a cult following and its Broadway adaptation received positive reviews.

Director Joe Lauderdale saw the Broadway show in 2008 and was immediately smitten.

"I knew that I wanted to direct that show," he said.

He was reluctant, he said, because the film wasn't good and turning movies into shows wasn't a new concept.

"I found that it was nowhere near a remake of the 1980 film," he said. "It had its tongue placed firmly in its cheek."

The musical tells the story of a conflicted Venice Beach artist, Sonny, who is visited from Mt. Olympus by the Greek muse Kira, who is there to guide him to open a roller disco. Romance and the other seven muses complicate things, but not without a heavy dose of music and fun.

Noah Plomgren, 20, plays the lead, Sonny.

Although playing a surfer guy shouldn't be too hard for the Laguna Beach native, Plomgren admits he went somewhere else for inspiration.

"I actually based it on how Keanu Reeves reads his lines," he said with a laugh.

A senior studying musical theater at Carnegie Mellon, Plomgren said he thinks it's the most fun he's had in a production.

"It'll make you the happiest person alive. It's so much fun," he said. "We're dancing around on roller skates, yelping our faces off."

He also added that the high notes are no easy feat and said it's the hardest music he's sung.

Hannah Glass, 19, plays a muse named Euterpe and was excited to be part of the production after watching some of the film.

"Xanadu is just a giant, fun activity that everyone should go to," the Berkeley student said. "Everyone knows the songs so you can sing along, or dance if you feel the need."

For more information, visit

If You Go

What: "Xanadu, The Musical"

Where: No Square Theatre, 384 Legion St.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, July 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24

Tickets: $22 online and $25 at the door

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World