Xanadu

July 18, 2012 - October 7, 2012

Show Info

"Two hours brimming with joy, laughter and sequins!"
- BroadwayWorld.com (Read more.)

"An outrageously dreamlike plotline and exuberantly campy song and dance numbers. It’s upbeat. It’s funny. It’s 'Xanadu.'"
- The Austin American-Statesman (Read more.)

An over-the-top, roller-skating musical that spoofs the outrageously campy 1980’s film starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. A beautiful muse descends from the heavens of Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach and inspires a struggling artist to create his biggest dream... the first ROLLER DISCO!

Make it Dinner and a Show: Click here for Dining Discounts.

Thank You Production Sponsors!

Larry Connelly and James Armstrong


Please Note: Ticket price is not refundable. Late-comers are seated at the discretion of the House Manager. Unclaimed seats at curtain time are subject to release to patrons on standby.

Click on the images below to view
the XANADU photo gallery.

Critics call the musical XANADU "ridiculously funny!"

Jill Blackwood stars as Kira in ZACH's XANADU 

Melpomeme (Michelle Alexander) and Calliope (Lara Wright) are totally a-muse-d.  

Production Photos Courtesy:
Kirk R. Tuck


Cast/Crew

About the Company

MICHELLE ALEXANDER (Melpomene) – Joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: 13 Fat Girls and A Dead Cat, I Am A Woman the Journey of One Woman and Many Women at Shetler Studios; FSITO with ARS Nova Theatre. One Hour 2 Live with D.A.W.N Tours in New York. At City Theatre in Austin: Hair, The Crucible and A Raisin in the Sun. OTHER THEATRE: Aida, The Member of the Wedding, Little Shop of Horrors, Miss Kentucky, Love Labour’s Lost with Abilene Christian University’s Theatre. All Shook Up, Seussical and Hairspray with the Idaho Summer Repertory Theatre. ADDITIONAL CREDITS: B.F.A in Musical Theatre from Abilene Christian University. Literacy to Life with The State Theatre.

CHARISSA ALLEN (Muse) – joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: A Ride with Bob at the State Theater, Kennedy Center, Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco; Sonny’s Last Shot at Arts on Real, The State Theater. FILM: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Great Debaters, Sin City. TELEVISION: NBC’s Chase, The Living Hell. OTHER CREDITS: Orchesis Dance Company at Texas State University, Millennium Dance Company in Austin, TX.

ROBERTO ARAUJO (Thalia/Young Danny) – is making his first appearance at ZACH Theatre in this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: Altar Boyz at The Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH; Music of the Night and Dance Explosion at American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA. OFF-BROADWAY: Angelina Ballerina, The Musical; Jackson Heights 3am. FILM: Joseph, King of Dreams. TV: 30 Rock. OTHER THEATRE: Rent in Mexico City; Fame, The Musical on tour in China; The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Germany and Austria; Headline singer for Carnival Cruise Lines; Aida at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Roberto has also worked extensively with the Disney Special Events Group in Latin America.

JILL BLACKWOOD* (Kira) - AT ZACH THEATRE: Hairspray, Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, The Drowsy Chaperone, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 365 Days/365 Plays, Bad Dates, Urinetown: The Musical, AIDA, Cabaret, Master Class, The Rocky Horror Show. REGIONAL THEATRE: Jill has performed regularly for Austin Shakespeare, Austin Playhouse, the former Austin Musical Theatre (including “Glinda” in The Wizard of Oz at Bass Concert Hall), Zilker Theatre Productions (onstage and in the pit orchestra), The State Theatre, TexArts and Mississippi’s New Stage Theatre. AWARDS: Numerous Austin Critics’ Table and B. Iden Payne Awards, most recently for the TexArts’ production of Carousel at the Paramount and for her work as a guest artist in Full Circle at St. Edward’s Mary Moody Theatre.

TYLER JONES (Terpsicore) – makes his ZACH debut with this production. OTHER THEATRE: The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast and My Favorite Year at Zilker Hillside Theatre; Murder on the Nile, Getting Married and Beard of Avon with Different Stages; The Lonesome West at Hyde Park Theatre; Spirits to Enforce at Capital T Theatre; I Love You Because with Penfold Theatre; Songs for a New World, Death of a Salesman, How the Other Half Loves at City Theatre AWARDS: Tyler has been nominated for several B. Iden Payne awards and won for his performance as Happy in Death of a Salesman.

ELIZABETH KOEPP (Euterpe) – AT ZACH Theatre: Spring Awakening (Ilse) and Hairspray (Tammy). OTHER THEATRE: Crave (M) at Texas State University’s Festival of the Half Burnt: Directing II Showcase, Merge Dance Company and Orchesis Dance Company at Texas State University-San Marcos, American Spirit Dance Company and Spirit of Grace Dance Company at Oklahoma City University, Into The Woods (Cinderella) and Plaza Suite (Mimsey and Jean McCormack) at the Permian Playhouse. OTHER CREDITS: Elizabeth recently graduated from Texas State University cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography.

MATTHEW REDDEN (Sonny Malone) – AT ZACH Theatre: Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays and The Drowsy Chaperone. REGIONAL: The Queen of Spades at Houston Grand Opera; Camelot at Masquerade Theatre; Cyrano de Bergerac, Othello, A Christmas Carol at Alley Theatre; Chorus! at Houston Grand Opera; Design for Living at Main Street Theatre; The Secret Garden at Bayou City Musicals; Broadway Theatre Project 2004, directed by Ann Reinking. INTERNATIONAL: Karl May Festival in Germany. OTHER: Matthew holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Sam Houston State University.

RICK ROEMER* (Danny Maguire/Zeus) – joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: Rick performs regularly with Austin Playhouse, where he is a company member. Rick has also worked at the State Theater, Salvage Vanguard Theater, UT Austin and Austin Shakespeare, as well as Off-Broadway and in regional theaters all across the country. INTERNATIONAL: The Birds, The Virgin and the Unicorn at Rhodopi Drama Theatre in Bulgaria. TELEVISION: Wildest Dreams, Santa Barbara. ADDITIONAL CREDITS: Rick received his Ph.D. in theatre from UCLA and is currently a professor of theatre at Southwestern University where he directs regularly and teaches acting, directing and musical theatre. Rick is the author of Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.

LARA WRIGHT (Calliope) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Rent, The Drowsy Chaperone (Kitty), The Rocky Horror Show (1999). REGIONAL THEATRE: Grease (Rizzo), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey) and Wait Until Dark (Suzy). OTHER THEATRE: The Margo Lee Show at The Velveeta Room in Austin; The Seagull (Nina); Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Edna); Wild Honey (Sofya) and The Dining Room. OTHER CREDITS: Graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts NYC.

JOSH WECHSLER (Muse) – AT ZACH Theatre: Spring Awakening (Hanschen & Rupert). REGIONAL THEATRE: Josh has formerly appeared in Corpus Christi, Cabaret, Cats, West Side Story, Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Into The Woods, The Music Man, Nefertiti and various concerts and cabarets in Dallas, Oklahoma and Austin. OTHER CREDITS: Josh currently teaches private voice in Round Rock ISD. He has a Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma City University where he studied voice under Prof. Vicky Leloie Kelly.

JENNIFER BLAKENEY YOUNG* (Erato & Dance Captain) - AT ZACH THEATRE: Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Rockin’ Christmas Party. REGIONAL THEATRE: Jennifer has performed regularly for Theatre Under the Stars, Austin Playhouse, the former Austin Musical Theatre, Zilker Theatre Productions and San Francisco’s Marines Memorial Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include Lola, Damn Yankees; Bianca, Kiss Me Kate; Tiger Lily, Peter Pan and Ruby, Dames at Sea. AWARDS: Austin Critics’ Table and B. Iden Payne Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Choreography. Jennifer is currently the Pre-Professional School Coordinator for ZACH Theatre.

*Member Actors’ Equity Association

About the Artistic Staff

NICK DEMOS (Director & Choreographer) – AT ZACH THEATRE: The Drowsy Chaperone (B. Iden Payne and Austin Examiner Awards Best Direction). NYC: Spring Alive (Dixon Place), Aiding and a Bedding (Primary Stages), The Pool (Theater for the New City) Rainbow Around the Sun (NYMF), Kids in America (Triad), Songs of Spirit (Joe’s Pub). Nick is the Artistic Director of One Healing Arts Company. From 2000-2008 he was the Artistic Director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma where he directed and choreographed numerous productions, including Chicago starring Debbie Gibson, Hello, Dolly! starring Sally Struthers and Oklahoma! starring Kelli O’Hara. BROADWAY PRODUCER: Memphis (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards) OFF-BROADWAY PRODUCER: Vanities and Inventing Avi. LONDON’S WEST END PRODUCER: Make Me a Song. He was also a producer for the First National Tour of both The Drowsy Chaperone and Memphis and Executive Producer of the film Love or Whatever. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. www.nickdemos.net

ALLEN ROBERTSON (Musical Director) – is an Emmy Award®-winning co-creator of the PBS children’s show The Biscuit Brothers, as well as a co-producer, performer, writer, educational director and composer for the show. Allen is an award-winning musical director, composer, playwright, actor, director, sound designer and musician, and has worked on hundreds of productions from Chicago to Japan and just about everywhere in between - including 20 years of shows at ZACH. New York credits include Radio City Music Hall and the Off-Broadway run of The Flaming Idiots. As a vocalist, he can be heard on several Disney Records as well as television and radio commercials. Additionally he is a composer with credits including the film Beyond Black Rock, the musical Jouet and the ballet Secret Garden.

MICHAEL B. RAIFORD (Set Design) – is a Scenic and Costume designer based in Austin, TX. National/Regional Credits: Actors Theatre of Louisville. Michael has designed 20 shows at Actors including a dozen world premieres at “The Humana Festival of New American Plays.” Other regional credits include: GEVA, Cleveland Playhouse, Central City Opera, Kansas City Rep, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, Opera Boston and The New Victory Theatre in NYC. In Austin: Ballet Austin, The Magic Flute and The Mozart Project; Austin Lyric, Rigoletto; The Rude Mechanical’s Tesla and Big Love. AT ZACH THEATRE: 20 years and 100 productions, including recent favorites – God of Carnage, Spring Awakening and Hairspray. In addition, Michael works as a Creative Consultant in many fields including Architecture, advertising and yes, even marching band and drum corps (The Cavaliers and The Academy.) Michael received his M.F.A. from UT where he also taught design for 10 years and is a Member of United Scenic Artists. To see more of his work visit: flickr.com/photos/michaelraiford/sets

MICHELLE HABECK (Lighting Design) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Lighting Design for Dividing the Estate. BROADWAY: Slide Artist; Thoroughly Modern Millie (also London and tour); Associate Lighting Designer: The Boy from Oz, King Hedley II; Assistant Lighting Designer: Movin’ Out, Thoroughly Modern Millie, King Hedley II. OPERA: Associate Lighting Designer: Julie Taymor’s Grendel. OFF- BROADWAY: Fifty Words. REGIONAL THEATRE: A Skull in Connemara, Let There Be Love, Things of Dry Hours, Elmina’s Kitchen. WAS (dir. Tina Landau), Dangerous Beauty (dir. Sheryl Kaller) at American Music Theatre Project. A Raisin in the Sun, Gem of the Ocean at The Guthrie Theater. Love Song, The Chosen, Ten Percent of Molly Snyder at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Michelle has also designed for The Goodman, The Alliance Theatre, Kansas City Repertory, Penumbra, Arizona Theatre Company, Writer’s Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, among others. AWARDS: NEATCG Career Development Grant for Design, The University of Texas Faculty Fine Arts Award.

SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE (Costume Design) - Previous ZACH Theatre designs: Dividing The Estate, Hairspray, God of Carnage, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, August: Osage County, The Drowsy Chaperone, Our Town,The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Clean House, Jesus Christ Superstar/Jesucristo Superestrella, Present Laughter, Bad Dates, Urinetown, Aida, Cabaret, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, Always...Patsy Cline, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Laramie Project and Jelly’s Last Jam. Other Austin credits include The Magic Flute and Cult of Color for Ballet Austin, The Bat for Austin Lyric Opera; and numerous shows for Zilker Theatre Productions and St. Edward’s University. Favorite regional engagements include King Lear, The Diary of Anne Frank and A Flea In Her Ear at the Denver Center Theatre Company; Crowns, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; My Fair Lady, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chicago, Julius Caesar, Tartuffe, Richard III and Sophisticated Ladies at Pioneer Theatre in Salt Lake City; and The Producers, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Forum for Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre. In New York, Susan designed for New York City Opera and numerous Off-Broadway productions. Susan is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and the Yale School of Drama, and is a 26-year member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.

CRAIG BROCK (Sound Design) – is ZACH’s Resident Sound Designer, in addition to working as a recording engineer and music producer since 1989. AT ZACH THEATRE: Dividing The Estate, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Next to Normal, Rent, Metamorphoses, The Drowsy Chaperone, Becky’s New Car, Our Town, Flaming Idiots, Spelling Bee, Love, Janis, The Grapes of Wrath, Let Me Down Easy, Shooting Star, Caroline, or Change, The Clean House, Altar Boyz, Porgy and Bess, Speeding Motorcycle, High School Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar/Jesucristo Superestrella, Take Me Out, Rocky Horror, I Am My Own Wife, Urinetown, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Rockin’ Christmas Party and The Santaland Diaries. REGIONAL THEATRE: Evil Dead, City of Angels, Dream, Annie, The Music Man and Starlight Express. Album credits include: El Tri, Mana, Luis Miguel, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Guns & Roses, David Crosby, Stephen Stills.

BLAKE REEVES (Properties Design) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Dividing The Estate, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Next to Normal, God of Carnage, Spring Awakening, Hairspray, The Book of Grace, August: Osage County, Fiction, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins and Rent. Blake has also worked with ZACH’s production team in numerous facets for The Santaland Diaries, The Drowsy Chaperone, Metamorphoses, Becky’s New Car, Our Town and The Flaming Idiots. In addition to production work, he performed with the award-winning cast of Our Town. Blake attended Baylor University and, during his time as a student, he designed, choreographed and performed in a number of productions. He later returned to serve as the Coordinator of Special Performances for the university, producing and designing several shows. He also provided prop design for Footloose with Zilker Theatre Productions last summer. Blake is a proud member of the Society of Properties Artisan Managers.

WILLA KAYE WARREN (Wig Design) – Won a 2012 Austin Critics’ Table Special Citation Award for “Monumental Tease” for her hair designs on ZACH’s production of Hairspray. She has also designed hair for ZACH’s productions of Spring Awakening, August: Osage County, The Drowsy Chaperone, Caroline, or Change, Keepin’ It Weird, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Aida, Cabaret, Always...Patsy Cline, Beehive, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Dirty Blonde, Hair, Little Shop of Horrors, Jelly’s Last Jam, Master Class, Jouét, A Streetcar Named Desire, Evita, The Rocky Horror Show, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Angels in America, Tommy, Blues in the Night, The Taffetas, The Piano Lesson, Jack and Jill, Ruthless! The Musical, A Christmas Carol, Beehive, Rockin’ Christmas Party (‘95-’05), Avenue X and Das Barbecü. Willa has been volunteering and working in the Austin arts community for more than 25 years.

ALLISON LOWERY (Wig Design) – is the Wig and Makeup Specialist for Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas. At ZACH she designed makeup for Hairspray, The Grapes of Wrath and was the wig designer for the character of Janet Van de Graff in The Drowsy Chaperone. In Austin, she has also created wigs for Zilker Theatre Productions, Austin Shakespeare Festival and St. Edwards University, in addition to working as a freelance makeup artist. She served as the Wig Master at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and wig maker for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, American Players Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, Utah Shakespeare Festival and Piedmont Opera Theatre. She recently co-authored the wig textbook The Complete Guide to Wig Making and Styling for Theatre and Film. She has an M.F.A. in Wig and Makeup Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

PAUL FLINT (Director of Production) – joined ZACH Theatre in 2008. He earned his B.F.A. from Shorter College and M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, with a focus on Technical Direction, Scenic Design and Arts Management. His theatre credits include the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Ga., Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, New York, Vitalist Theatre Company in Chicago, Ill., and he is a founding member of Seaside Repertory Theatre in Seaside, Fla. Paul is the author of Managing the Creative Mind: A Technical Director’s Process.

BLAIR HURRY (Costume Shop Manager) – grew up in Austin and studied Costume Design & Technology at the University of Texas. Her costume design works at ZACH Theatre include The Laramie Project, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, Metamorphoses, Shooting Star (2009-2010 Season), Farm to Market and Call It Courage (ZACH’s Performing Arts School). Other local designs include Vampyress (Vortex Theatre), Parade: A Musical (St. Edward’s University), The Famous Rio Grande, The Trojan Women and Cabaret (University of Texas). Prior to ZACH, she built costumes for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Ohio Light Opera Company and STAGES: St. Louis. She also worked as Head of Wardrobe and Make-up for the national tour of Playhouse Disney’s The Doodlebops LIVE! and the 2008 national tour of The Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker. She is currently an active member of the local 205 IATSE union.

*Member Actors’ Equity Association

The Band

ALLEN ROBERTSON, Piano
BOB OVERTON, Guitar
ARNIE YAÑEZ, Drums

The Authors

DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE (Playwright) – Beane’s Broadway play The Little Dog Laughed received the GLAAD media award for best play, and was also nominated for a Tony for best new play. His other works include As Bees In Honey Drown (Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award), Music From A Sparkling Planet and The Country Club. He wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of his play Advice From A Caterpillar which won Aspen Comedy Festival’s best feature. His film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar produced by Steven Spielberg, was the number one film in America for a month and is now a television favorite. The Big Time, Beane’s first musical, received rave reviews last year and his next musical, a stage adaptation of the film The Bandwagon is slated to open on Broadway later this season. Fascinated by non-traditional forms of theater, Beane has written the revues, White Lies and Mondo Drama and this season a live theatrical soap opera, The Cartells. As artistic director of the New York theater company Drama Dept. he produced over forty productions, including acclaimed revivals of As Thousands Cheer, June Moon and The Torchbearers and world premiere works by Paul Rudnick, David Sedaris and Wendy Wasserstein. His new play, Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost, Too will open next season in New York and he is currently developing a television series for producer Lorne Michaels. He resides in New York City with his partner, composer Lewis Flinn and their son, Cooper.

JEFF LYNNE (Music & Lyrics) – formed the Electric Light Orchestra, or E.L.O., in the 1970’s. The group gradually developed from cult favorites into one of the 70s’ leading recording acts, scoring international success with several platinum-selling albums, including “A New World Record” and “Out Of The Blue”. Lynne’s dual talents as a composer and producer ensured the group’s status but, sensing an artistic sterility, he abandoned his creation in 1986. The artist then assumed an increasingly backroom role, but won praise for his production work with George Harrison (“Cloud Nine”), Randy Newman (“Land Of Dreams”) and Roy Orbison (“Mystery Girl”) and he has also contributed his distinctive production qualities to much of Tom Petty’s recent output. Lynne’s work with Orbison coincided with his position as ‘Otis Wilbury’ in the Traveling Wilburys, an informal ‘supergroup’ completed by Orbison, Harrison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. This particularly prolific period was also marked by his work with Brian Wilson on the ex-Beach Boys’ first long-awaited solo album. In recent years, Lynne has produced the Beatles lost tapes, notably “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”. He co-produced Paul McCartney’s “Flaming Pie” in 1997.

JOHN FARRAR (Music & Lyrics) – was born in Melbourne Australia. He is a music producer, songwriter, music arranger, singer and guitarist who is best known for his work with Olivia Newton-John with whom he wrote and produced many hit songs. Farrar is a former member of several groups including The Shadows, Marvin Welch & Farrar, The Strangers and The Mustangs. He is also the father of Phantom Planet bassist Sam Farrar as well as Golden Ghost guitarist/keyboardist Max Farrar.

Credits

Book by DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE | Music and Lyrics by JEFF LYNNE and JOHN FARRAR | Based on the Universal Pictures film | Screenplay by RICHARD DANUS and MARC RUBEL | Directed and Choreographed by NICK DEMOS (The Drowsy Chaperone) | Music Direction by ALLEN ROBERTSON
Please arrive early for parking.

Student Tickets: $18 One Hour Before Showtime (with Valid ID)
Bar opens 1 hour before showtime. Drinks welcome inside the theatre.

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202 South Lamar - Austin, TX 78704 - Phone (512) 476-0541
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