Monday, March 12, 2012


Aurora Fox Arts: 3/2-4/1
Roller skates, disco balls, short shorts! Oh my.
Aurora Fox Arts is presenting a good production of “Xanadu, the Musical.” It’s based on the 80’s cult classic film starring Olivia Newton John. The main reason to go to this production is to see and hear the outstanding leads: Amy Board and Andrew Diessner. After a disappointing opening number due to a faulty mike, beloved female lead Amy Board put forth a formidable display of her superb vocal talents. Board plays the role Olivia Newton John originated in the film. Andrew Diessner provides the outstanding vocals and Herculean muscle required for this goddess’s human boy friend. It’s a pleasure to see Gregory Price onstage again. The professionalism of this artist's vocals and hoofing in the role of Danny provides an anchor for this otherwise uh, celestial show. Any time Sharon K. White is onstage one can expect powerful vocals. Likewise Ashley Amber Harris spikes the proceedings with her superb voice and high comic spirit. The often intentionally funny choreography by Piper Lindsey Arpan enhances the production, as does Nicole M. Harrison’s costume design. Charles Packard has done some nice work creating a set design depicting the  home of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus that doubles as Sonny’s 80’s disco palace, the Apex of the Arts. Shannon McKinney’s lighting design is the professional work the Denver audience has come to expect. The dancing is delivered with enthusiasm and high energy by this cast. Standouts in this department are Rob Costigan and Tyrell D. Rae both of whom provide wild comic high-jinx therewith. The just offstage band is phenomenal. Director Ben Dicke (the star of last season’s “The Wedding Singer”) creates an over the top disco era fantasia with this show. It’s ditzy and glitzy and afterwards you may feel as though you just spent ninety minutes in a helium-filled balloon. And isn’t that what glitz, ditz and fluff are expected to deliver? If we’re looking for reality therapy we go to see something by Arthur Miller. The book for this musical is so shallow that the dialogue between the musical numbers needs to pop more. Sadly the presentation of the flimsy bridges of dialogue that glue the show together disappoints.  The choice of having the actors caressing some patrons seated onstage cloys.
If you’re looking for great vocals, goofy choreography and eye-popping muscles this show may be the escapist entertainment to make your week.
Willie Lohman is not in this one.

To reserve tickets for Xanadu visit or call the Box Office at 303-739-1970. Onstage seating is limited and must be booked in advance. The Aurora Fox Theatre is located at 9900 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora, five blocks west of Havana. Parking for the venue is free and located behind the theatre. Doors open half an hour prior to curtain and concessions are available for purchase upon arrival. For any additional information, contact the Box Office.

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