A! Magazine for the Arts

Bristol Tennessee High School presents "Xanadu"

January 27, 2020

Drama students at Bristol Tennessee High School perform “Xanadu” Feb. 14-16 in the school auditorium. Performances are at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday; a Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.

“This is only our fourth ever musical, and we are going big,” says Amber Davis, director. “Some of the cast will be skating, and there will be plenty of singing and dancing to ‘80s music. Expect to laugh and sing through this one.”

In this musical comedy adaptation, the Muses of ancient Greek mythology seek the greatest artist of all time. Intending to travel to Venice, Italy, they find themselves instead in 1980s Venice Beach, California, ... hilarity, romance, roller-skating and rock/disco music ensue.

The musical is based on the 1980 film with the same name. Although the film starring Olivia Newton John was considered a flop at the time, the soundtrack was a hit and it became a cult classic. Douglas Carter Beane wrote the book for the stage musical adaptation and added new plot twists and humor parodying the film. According to Beane, he was influenced not only by the film, but also by the 1981 fantasy film “Clash of the Titans,” prompting him to focus more on the Greek mythology plots.

The score retains the hits from the film and includes new arrangements by Eric Stern, and two classic Electric Light Orchestra songs, “Strange Magic” and “Evil Woman.” Beane was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical after its Broadway run in 2007.

Allie Frye portrays Kira, Brandon Price is Sonny and Jacob Davis plays Danny. The Muses are Justine Norton (Melpomene), Finely Large (Calliope), Ariana Floyd (Thalia), Aly White (Euterpe), Enelisa Sutton (Erato) and Christalynn Johnston (Terpsicore).

For more information, visit www.ths.btcs.org.