Jun 16

Awesomeness on Wheels: ROLLER DISCO: THE MUSICAL

photo credit: Ministry of Theater

Roller Disco:  The Musical, book by Sam Forman and Jen Wineman, lyrics by Sam Forman, music by Eli Bolin, Ministry of Theater and Club Oberon, 5/30/12-8/30/12, http://www.rollerdiscothemusical.com/Home.html.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Cambridge, MA) Sometimes, you come across a play that works so effortlessly on so many levels that it skates circles around your standard theatrical fare.  Club Oberon’s Roller Disco, glittery, vacant, hyper and hysterical, draws the audience into a disco-soaked world from the theme song’s opening strands.  We have no choice but to harken back to striped tube socks, gritty skating rinks and cheesy eighties movies.  Heck, we never even put up a fight. Continue reading

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May 27

Connecting with the Cheerfully Cheesy “Xanadu”

McCaela Donovan and Ryan Overberg, Photo: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Xanadu, book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, Speakeasy Stage Company, Roberts Studio Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 5/11/12-6/9/12, http://www.speakeasystage.com/doc.php?section=showpage&page=xanadu.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

Xanadu, the 1980 film featuring Olivia Newton John and music by the Electric Light Orchestra, is well known for being a critical flop.  The chief crime of this cinematic musical, however, is in creating entertainment that doesn’t connect with its audience.  After all, it’s a movie about disco released a year after the genre died a largely un-mourned death.  I’m hard pressed to find a better image of disconnection than that.

In being brought to the stage, Xanadu has finally found its correct medium.  The show not only finds its audience but winks at it furiously throughout the course of the story. Continue reading

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