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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at Helen Hayes Theater, New York

By David Lefkowitz

  Kerry Butler

Yes, Xanadu, there IS life after Krakowski.

Though the Broadway-bound musical, Xanadu, seemed thrown into limbo by the defection of its workshop star, Jane Krakowski, because of her commitment to TV's "30 Rock," the show will go on - albeit a couple of weeks later.

The spoofy tuner, once slated for early May, will now wait till June 26th to open, making it part of the 2007-08 Broadway season rather than this one. Previews start May 23 for Xanadu, which will star Kerry Butler, the perky, diminutive blonde who came to Broadway's attention for playing Penny Pingleton in Hairspray. A year later, she was Outer Critics Circle nommed for playing Audrey in the Little Shop of Horrors revival (its Broadway debut). Her off-Broadway credits include Bat Boy and last year's The Opposite of Sex.

Douglas Carter Beane, fresh off the mostly positive reviews for his Hollywood satire, The Little Dog Laughed, has 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, will be 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) will helm Xanadu, which is reportedly budgeted at $5 million. 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."

No word on further casting, though other actors in the show's Jan. 20-21 workshop included Tony Roberts, Tyler Maynard and All Shook Up's Cheyenne Jackson.


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