NRACT to Present XANADU, 9/5-21

NRACT to Present XANADU, 9/5-21

North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre brings the tongue-in-cheek, award-winning hit Broadway musical Xanadu to the Triangle for its local premiere September 5th through 21st.

This hilarious Broadway musical, which was nominated for four Tony Awards, features classic ELO and John Farrar hit songs. The beautiful Greek goddess Clio, disguised as the Australian?accented mortal Kira is sent by Zeus on a quest from the heavens to inspire the young beach?boy artist Sonny Malone to achieve his roller skate?fueled obsession to open a roller disco.

Based on the famous 1980 movie starring Olivia Newton?John and Gene Kelly, their disco?driven rolling adventure is surrounded by popular hits from the '80s like "Magic," "I'm Alive," "Evil Woman" and, of course, "Xanadu."

Directors James Ilsley and Jess Barbour and Music Director Michael Santangelo have assembled an all-star, all-local cast including Olivia Newton-John sound-a-like Lauren Knott as Kira, the magical Greek muse and perennial favorite Brian Westbrook as Sonny, the Venice Beach street artist. Local theatre veteran Dan Mason tackles the role that had Gene Kelly strapping on roller skates in the original film for his last film performance. Divas Rose Higgins and Heather Shinpaugh are jealous muse sisters determined to stop the Kira and Sonny's budding love - and their roller disco! Playing a hilarious variety of roles are the muse sisters: Kayla Austin, Romni Rossi, Collin Yates, Rebecca Leonard, and Alex Matsuo.

"Xanadu is just pure fun," says Ilsley, who also directed last year's surprise hit Carrie: The Musical. "When I saw the show on Broadway, I went with reservations- how could the terrible cult classic movie from the 80s translate into great music theatre? I was shocked. The music is spectacular and the book is perfectly written. I remember leaving the theatre with the biggest smile thinking Xanadu was the most enjoyable experience I had had at the theatre in a long, long time. While Xanadu is about roller skates, disco balls, and Greek Muses, at its heart, it is a love letter to the phenomenon of inspiration and believing in your dreams.

The production at NRACT is our largest ever. The show is intended to be over-the-top in nature so the production utilizes a plethora of projections, outrageous costumes and special effects. NRACT has partnered with Imaginagami who will be providing some specialty pieces including a flying Pegasus and some other surprises that will bring Mt. Olympus to life. We have also partnered with Jellybeans of Wakefield who is providing the entire cast with their skates."

Jess Barbour, who is also the theatre's Artistic Director, is excited about the collaboration with other local organizations. "Like the characters Sonny, doubting his own artistic ability," says Barbour, "we often can't uncover the full creative reach of a production until we partner with other inspired minds. NRACT is excited to partner with local companies in our community to push the limits of what is possible in our space and bring to life this campy screen-to-stage production."

Tickets for Xanadu start at $12 and are available at

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