Cortland Repertory Theatre

The Pop Musical “Xanadu” Roller Skates It’s Way to Cortland Repertory Theatre

Posted by  //  June 12, 2023  //  Arts & Live Music, News

Cortland Repertory Theatre takes a time trip back to 1980 with their second production in the 51st annual summer season as they present the pop musical “Xanadu”, running from June 21 – 30. This Tony-nominated musical has a book written by Douglas Carter Beane, and music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Called “hilarity on wheels”, this stage adaptation is based on the Universal Pictures film of the same name with a screenplay by Richard Danus and Marc Rubel.  Evening shows are available at 7:30 PM, with matinees on June 23, 24, 25 and 28 at 2:00 PM.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in Cortland. Tickets are also available through with ETIX, for a small additional charge. CRT cautions that ETIX is the only approved online ticket service; others charge significantly higher rates for tickets and are not approved by CRT. The GPS address for the Little York Pavilion is 6799 Little York Lake Road in Preble.

When the beautiful Greek muse, Kira, – played in the movie by Olivia Newton-John – descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, California, she is on a quest to inspire struggling artist Sonny Malone to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first roller disco. But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation, and hilarious chaos abounds. The musical features pop hits from the bestselling movie soundtrack including I’m Alive, Evil Woman, Strange Magic, All Over the World, Don’t Walk Away and more, plus a few surprises, such as Newton-John’s hit Have You Never Been Mellow? This funny family-friendly musical is appropriate for all ages.

Xanadu is co-directed by CRT’s Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson and choreographer Bryan Knowlton, with music direction by Shoshana Seid-Green. The three have previously collaborated on CRT’s productions of Mamma Mia! and the award winning production of Saturday Night Fever.  Stage Manager Joshua Stenger makes his CRT debut, leading the design team comprised of CRT returnees Rozy Isquith, Scenic Designer of last summer’s Hair, Lighting Designer Matthew Webb, who has previously worked on many CRT shows including Mamma Mia, Our Town and Sleuth, and properties designer Taylor Barr, returning for his second year. Costume designer Clara Jean Kelly and Sound Designer Kyle Jensen make their CRT debuts, as does Assistant Stage Manager Laura Swygert.

Playing the mystical muse Kira is previous CRT Performing Intern from the 2021 “outdoor” season Shelby Zimmerman, who was seen in Goin’ To The Chapel and Pirate Schmirate! Andrew Burton Kelley makes his CRT debut as Sonny Malone, as does Paul Weagraff in the role of Danny Maquire, played in the film by Gene Kelly.  Members of CRT’s Performing Intern Company portray Kira’s sister muses including recent Rider University graduate Aubrey Alvino as Melpomene, rising Rider University junior Mia Caslowitz as Euterpe, Syracuse University Musical Theatre student Jessica Cerreta as Calliope, senior at the University of Utah Michael Hartman as Thalia, and two rising juniors at Rider University Breanna Lemerise as Erato and Trevor Shingler as Terpsicore. Musicians for this production include Daniel Williams on keyboard 2, Dan Skimore on guitar and Simon Bjarning on drums.

CRT offers a “Friday Night Talk Back” after the evening performance on June 23, at which a Q & A session with the actors, directors, designers, and crew takes place. Tickets are available for CRT’s upcoming summer productions of Unnecessary Farce, The Cake and The Wizard of Oz, and the CRT Children’s Theatre production of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Visit for more information.

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