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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at Helen Hayes Theater (Broadway)

By David Lefkowitz
Published June 17 2007

  Cheyenne Jackson

One can only wonder how many times James Carpinello will hear "break a leg" jokes as he convalesces from the foot injury he suffered during rehearsals of the new Broadway musical, Xanadu. Still if there's a theater cliché' older than "break a leg" it's the producers' cry that the show must go on.

And continue Xanadu will, though the opening date will have to change (from a previously-announced June 26). Until Carpinello gets - literally - back on his feet, Cheyenne Jackson, who appeared in a January workshop of the show, has agreed to step into the role of Sonny opposite the Kira of Hairspray's Kerry Butler . Said Jackson in a statement, "...while James Carpinello recovers -- my heart goes out to him, as he spent months working on this project, only to be injured so close to opening night. I am honored to borrow his skates." Jackson, best known for starring as the Elvis-y lead in All Shook Up, is slated to do his first show June 22 - ten days after Carpinello's mishap. In between, Andre Ward is playing the Sonny role.

This is the second Xanadu cast shake-up, although the first happened in the planning stages. The new tuner seemed thrown into limbo by the defection of its workshop star, Jane Krakowski, because of her commitment to TV's "30 Rock." But then Butler signed on, and previews began May 23. Producers Robert Ahrens and Dan Vickery said in a statement that actress Butler was their "first choice" all along to play Kira, and that they're "thrilled her schedule has now opened up to join our production."

Douglas Carter Beane , fresh off the mostly positive reviews for his Hollywood satire, The Little Dog Laughed, adapted Xanadu from the cult-campy 1980 film of the same name. The film's songs, by ELO maestro Jeff Lynne and Olivia Newton-John producer and tunesmith, John Farrar, are worked into the musical, which tells of a struggling artist who falls for his muse.

Christopher Ashley, who has some experience directing rock and pop-pastiche musicals

(All Shook Up, The Rocky Horror Show) helms Xanadu, which is reportedly budgeted at $5 million.



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