Check out this month’s fun and wacky production of this 1980s roller-disco classic
LThe Workhouse Arts Center in Orton is hosting Xanadu until June 24, a fun and wacky musical based on the 1980 disco film of the same name.
Xanadu tells the story of Sonny, played by Pat Mahoney, and Clio/Kira, played by Jessica Barraclough, as they seek artistic inspiration and love while helping each other along the way.
Using a screenplay written by Tony-nominated author and playwright Douglas Carter Beane, audiences will be treated to an expertly crafted production as Beane incorporates the best of the original 1980 film mixed with a renewed sense of excitement and satire.
At the time of the film’s initial release, director and choreographer Stefan Sittig recalls a time of great optimism and excitement as the ever-changing environment of the early 1980s was often translated into the music of the era.
“For me, it was a decade full of promise and possibility initially. The music had all this optimism and excitement and I thought it was partly about artistic reinvention and hope for a better future,” Sittig said.
As a child growing up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Sittig felt that excitement through the unique sounds of the film’s music, adding that his soundtrack had achieved global reach. However, in the mid-80s, there was a shift in the emotion of the times.
“There was such a change in the mid-1980s because we were dealing with the previous pandemic, the AIDS pandemic, which really started to take hold in the mid-1980s when it became mainstream and most people knew that,” Sittig said.
Considering this shift in tone highlighting the tragedies of the decade, the Workhouse Arts Center hopes to encourage the reverse effect of the 1980s through this production, with this decade moving in a more positive direction after a very difficult few years.
The production further aims to encourage the audience to see that the origin of the creative spirit lives within us, despite the challenges of finding inspiration in today’s world. Sittig also stressed the importance of an artistic muse as a source of inspiration.
“I think this idea of the muse as the inspiration for the artist, it’s a central theme of the show, is really something that we could all use right now,” he said.
As the performance includes various bright colors, sets and creative outfits, the Workhouse wanted to ensure quality design and worked with Matt Liptak for set design, Priscilla Stapula for costume design and Joseph Wallen for stage design. lighting. Wallen has already professionally designed the lighting for this show.
Whatever the musical tastes, this production brings a bit of everything.
“Even though it’s a crazy, culinary musical about roller skating in a way, it’s also a musical about being true to yourself and not being afraid of yourself. open up and reach out to others when you need help and that’s how you can be your best self,” Sittig said.
Performances will be on Friday and Saturday each weekend until June 24, with the show starting at 8 p.m.