‘Xanadu’ takes the stage

Ryan Overberg and McCaela Donovan may have the trademark outfits of “Xanadu,” 
but Beane says he didn’t keep very much dialogue from the film.

Douglas Carter Beane picked a bad movie to adapt into a musical.

“You should underline ‘bad’ and put it in boldface,” says the playwright, when describing the 1980 film “Xanadu.”

The flop film stars Olivia Newton-John as a Greek muse who helps a struggling artist open his dream roller disco. People assumed that Beane’s musical version of the story would be equally lame. 

“It was a wonderful, subversive way to make fun of theater’s current infatuation with movie titles,” Beane explains  of his rationale. “And the original score was great. The soundtrack was a huge seller.”

So Beane saved the score and gutted the rest from the first “Xanadu.”

“I think at the end of the day, there are only seven lines from the movie that we kept. I completely restructured the entire story,” the writer says. His musical elaborates on Greek mythology and includes a few parody nods to the movie.

On Broadway, the show proved the skeptics wrong: It earned positive reviews and four Tony Award nominations.

“At the end of the day, ‘Xanadu’ is a toxic brand. People love it. This demigod of inspiration comes in the year 1980 to help open a roller disco. To a comedy writer, that’s just gold,” Beane says. “I took this terrible art form, this second-rate cinema, threw it up on stage, and called it a show.”

Beane there, done that

Douglas Carter Beane has been busy: He just received a Tony nomination for his most recent musical, “Lysistrata Jones” (like “Xanadu,” the show has some ancient Greek roots). He’s also reworking “Cinderella” for Broadway in 2013.

If you go

Sunday through June 9
Roberts Studio Theatre
in the BCA’s Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$52, 617-933-8600


Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."


Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.


Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.


Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…


FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.


'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.


5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.


College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)


Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.


Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.


Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.


Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.


London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.


Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."