HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Monday, November 24, 2008


PHOTO shows two rows of the La Jolla Playhouse audience of Xanadu, seated oddly on the stage (worst view of the perforance, from behind).

La Jolla -- 11/24/08 -- The ancient greek muses come alive (sorta) in Xanadu, appearing until December 31st at the Mandell Weiss Theatre at the La Jolla Playhouse on the UCSD campus.

The story line: In 1980, Sonny Malone (Max van Essen) is a Venice, CA chalk artist who drew a mural of an ancient greek panorama of Mt. Olympus where dancing muses play. Those muses, however, miraculously come to life and are the main characters of the play.

An attractive female muse, Kira (Elizabeth Stanley) falls in love with Sonny, takes on a fake Australian accent and wears roller skates. Her goal is to help Sonny create great art. Unfortunately, the muses' father, Zeus, has ruled that muses (1) cannot create art, (2) love a mortal, or (3) let a mortal know that he is inspir3d by a muse.

Sonny wants to turn an old, local theatre that's about to be torn down for condos into a thriving roller-disco. He meets the building's greedy owner, Danny McGuire (Larry Marshall), and the story begins to get complex.

There's a strangely produced scene of Mount Olympus where Zeus sentences Kira to eternal banishment for her transgressions. But, she is eventually saved.

Gays will absolutely love the lead character, Sonny, who is a young, cute, smooth-chested guy with sexy legs. He's always wearing skimpy, cut-off shorts to show those legs better. And, he's a great singer. Sonny was well cast.

But, the director unfortunately added faggish dancers who pranced around the stage in a way that insulted some Gays in the audience. They are even referred to as "girls" by some of the female actors.

This faggish stereotyping is the only major element of the play that is really disgusting!

Other leading actors are Joanna Glushak (Caliope) and Sharon Wilkins (Melomene). The dancing ensenble includes Jason Michael Snow, JB Wing, Tallia Brinson, Julius Thomas, Tiffany Topol, Vicent Rodriguez III, Kristopher L. Stock and Amy Goldberger.

The director, Christopher Ashley, who serves as the Artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, also did something really strange for this production of Xanadu. He put two rows of the audience on the stage (terrible seats, viewing everything from the rear). See photo above.

Performances are every night except Monday. Tickets range from $42 to $75. More information ia available at lajollaplayhouse.org, or by calling (858) 550-1010.
Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service (619) 757-4909 leopowerhere@msn.com


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