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'Xanadu': SpeakEasy is on a roll

While the group behind ‘Xanadu’ proclaims it’s ‘like children’s theater for 40-year-old gay people,’ the truth is everyone will enjoy going for a spin in this campy way-back machine.

Self-referential cheese has never been so much fun. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the SpeakEasy Stage Company delivers a veritable kitsch-fest complete with leg warmers, glow sticks, a giant disco ball and songs like "Evil Woman" and "Have You Never Been Mellow?" setting the scene.

The shorts may have been short in 1980, but Ryan Overberg (Sonny) redefines hanging by a thread in a pair that scream potential wardrobe malfunction and make you wonder how he can move, breathe or sing.

Overberg, a Boston Conservatory student, is delightfully engaging as the dimwitted artist who dreams of opening a roller disco. Strong vocals and the kind of timing you just can't teach give Overberg's Sonny the requisite "aw-shucks" charm to make you root for him to get the rink and the girl.

McCaela Donovan is sheer perfection as Clio/Kira, the muse-cum-Australian hottie who wins Sonny's heart. Spreading glitter everywhere, Donovan displays impressive vocal chops and a heretofore unseen knack for rollerskating.

Local favorite Kathy St. George lights up the stage in one of her best comic performances as both Calliope and Aphrodite. Shana Dirik is equally hilarious in dual duty as Melpomene and Medusa. Though her skating skills in the finale are -- ahem -- challenged, it makes live theater more fun!

With the exception of a white cloth hanging from center stage at the top of the show, the newly configured black box space makes a great roller disco. Don't forget your glitter.

Plot points




Based on the Olivia Newton-John cult film of the same name, "Xanadu" is the tale of a Greek muse (Clio) who appears in Venice Beach, Calif., in 1980 to help a young artist live his dream. Though her jealous sisters and a dastardly real estate baron have other plans, love conquers all, even Zeus.

If you go




'Xanadu'


Through June 9

Roberts Studio Theatre,

Stanford Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$52, 617-933-8600

www.speakeasystage.com