Kerry Butler believes
Every Wednesday that I'm in town the songs of Xanadu keep my afternoon lively as the matinée of the Broadway hit reverberates through the Helen Hayes Theatre where I keep my office.
The movie Xanadu is considered to have put to death the movie musical, but this stage musical has fixed a number of things that kept the film from coming close to the success of Olivia Newton John's earlier blockbuster, Grease.
My friend, Retta Blaney said she read an interview with Kerry Butler, who plays the lead, Keira, in which she sensed that Butler is a believer. I just came back to the theatre as the actors were leaving the building, so I asked her. She said she is a Christian, and "we pray before every performance."
When I told my wife, Joyce I'd run into her, she said, "I hope you told her what a great job she does." Joyce is right. Butler nails Newton John, but goes way beyond an impersonation. Her vocals and comic timing are great, and the whole cast is quite strong.
Pray for Butler and the cast. Though the play is farcical in nature, contains a few worldly elements and features Greek gods and demigods I actually came away (both times) inspired as an artist and believer.
The second time I saw it was from the stage. I now know why that's such a popular place for seats on Broadway these days! Though very little is blocked for that audience, it truly makes you feel like you're in the show...which you are in a sense, especially at the end when you get to dance and wave your glow stick. It made me yearn to be back in a musical. The last one I did was Judah Ben Hur in Singapore crossing from 2001 into 2002. Right now I'm gearing up for performances of my one-man play, Beyond the Chariots in Asia during the Olympics. We have volunteers translating it into five languages so far! Maybe after that I'll work on my arpeggios and dance moves.