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Stanley and Von Essen to Star in Xanadu Tour

Casting is announced for the anticipated Chicago and Midwest premiere of the surprise hit Broadway musical XANADU at the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place. Performances are scheduled to begin January 16, 2009 and individual tickets are now on sale.

XANADU in Chicago will star Elizabeth Stanley as "Kira" (played in the film version by Olivia Newton-John), Max von Essen as "Sonny," Sharon Wilkins and Joanna Glushak as the evil Muses "Melpomene" and "Calliope," respectively, and Larry Marshal as "Danny" (played in the film version by Gene Kelly). XANADU's cast also features Tallia Brinson, Amy Goldberger, Vince Rodriguez III, Jason Michael Snow, Kristofer Stock, JB Wing and Chicagoland-natives Julius Thomas III and Tiffany Topol.

XANADU opened at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre to critical acclaim on July 10, 2007 as the first new musical of the 2007-2008 season. Since the 2007 opening, the award-winning musical garnered the best reviews of the season, with critics and audiences leaping to their feet! Winner of Best Musical (Outer Critics Circle Award) and Best Book (Drama Desk Award), The New York Times raves XANADU is "heaven on wheels," and the Washington Post says this musical is "a triumph!"

This wildly funny musical delivers a surprisingly touching story about the nine magical muse-daughters of Zeus, who come to earth in 1980 (disguised in roller skates, leg warmers and Australian accents) to inspire humans to create truly great work and discover the meaning of the universe's greatest secret: the Gift of XANADU. Zeus' most important decree is they can't fall in love with any mortals! But all that changes when the young Kira meets the handsome artist Sonny, who needs her help in achieving his greatest dream. It is only when Sonny teaches Kira the true meaning of inspiration, that the secret of XANADU is revealed!

With a book "ingeniously adapted" (New York Times) by Douglas Carter Beane, and a score by Jeff Lynne (writer and producer for the Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O.)) and John Farrar (responsible for most of the hits performed by Olivia Newton-John in the 1970's), XANADU features the top 20 Billboard hits, "Magic," "Xanadu," "All Over the World" and "I'm Alive." Award-winning Christopher Ashley directs "at roller-derby speed" (New York Times) with choreography by Dan Knechtges.

XANADU also features scenic design by Tony Award winner David Gallo, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, projections design by Zachary Borovay, wig and hair design by Charles G. LaPointe and musical direction by Eric Stern.

XANADU is produced by Robert Ahrens, Dan Vickery, Tara Smith, B. Swibel, Mickey Liddell, and Cari Smulyan.

XANADU performances begin January 16, 2009 at the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place, 175 E Chestnut St.

Individual tickets range in price from $67.50 - $87 and are currently on-sale at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., and 18 W. Monroe St.), the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place Box Office (175 E. Chestnut St), through the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (312) 902-1400, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Carson Pirie Scott stores, Hot Tix, select Coconuts and fye stores) or online at Groups of 20 or more may receive a discount by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales (312) 977-1710. (312) 977-1710.

XANADU is proud to follow in the tradition of the Broadway company and offer special on-stage seating to each performance for $25.

XANADU is part of the 2009 Broadway In Chicago Season Series.

Elizabeth Stanley (Kira) is thrilled to be re-visiting the 80's on skates! On Broadway Elizabeth was most recently starred as Allison in Cry-Baby, and received much attention for her portrayal of April in the Tony Award-winning revival of Company (which was also recorded for PBS' "Great Performances"). Favorite regional credits include: Eliza in My Fair Lady, Brooke in Noises Off, Sugar in Sugar, Amneris in Aida, Maria in The Sound of Music, Daisy in Side Show, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Lucy in the operetta The Telephone. TV: "Chappelle's Show," and Fox's "Fringe." She holds a BA in vocal performance and music theatre from the Indiana University School of Music.

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