Sunday, August 08, 2010

Xanadu Your Neon Lights Will Shine...

So I started that 10|25|50|75|100 series a month or two ago because I like a wide variety of years in my film blogging, but you have to restrain yourself somehow. You can't focus on all 100+ years of cinema at once! But yesterday on twitter WonderRobbie reminded me that it was the 30th anniversary of Xanadu today. Since y'all know I love the movie like crazy I figured a quick mention was in order. I've already written extensively about the movie, so let's just take a quick look at a few random progeny. It's had 30 years now to sink deep down into the DNA of pop culture.


Have you seen this parody which mixes the rollerskating musical with ... wait for it... Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby ? That's right. It definitely has its moments though video parodies that stretch over a few minutes, rarely go viral. It's gotta be short, don'cha know? There's an even longer parody staring peeps but... brevity is key for good movie humor. (Perfect example: Kill Bill in 1 minute.)



Now that YouTube has expanded the allowable upload length, even fewer people will restrain themselves. Ah well.

More? Here is sexgod Cheyenne Jackson, former Woody Allen regular Tony Roberts and the hilarious Kerry Butler doing "Don't Walk Away" from the excellent Broadway spoof.



Ms. Butler has actually made a habit of movie characters on stage. She was one of many replacement "Belle"s in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She nailed "Penny Pingleton" in the original cast of Hairspray and was totally robbed of a Tony nomination. She then struggled a bit with Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (but then, Ellen Greene owns that role so thoroughly one can only feel pity for anyone who dares approach it now). Finally, she was pure heaven when she essentially sent up Olivia Newton-John as "Kira" in the stage version of Xanadu. She won her first and very deserved Tony nomination for stretching out all those Aussie vowels to ridiculous length and singing her sparkly heart out.

You'd think more people would have covered the songs from the Xanadu soundtrack over the years given that the original screen musical, starring mostly the sounds of Olivia and Electric Light Orchestra spawned so many hit singles. But mostly I could only find evidence of the title song becoming a regular again a few years ago.



To your left is Sarah Blasko doing a gorgeous reworking of the tune for bonus tracks for "As Day Follows Night". To your right is Sharleen Spiteri doing a more traditional cover for her CD, "The Movie Songbook".

Xanadu. Xanadu-oooh-oooh. Now we are here. In Xanadu.


And we can't let this go without ONJ's heavenly presence for exit music.



Can you rollerskate like a Greek muse...
or do you fall flat on your ass like me?
*

9 comments:

Michael said...

I have the entire Broadway soundtrack/some of the film soundtrack on my iPod. Can't wait for Cheyenne Jackson to finally reach a huge audience with 'Glee.' And you should totally embed the number Xanadu from the movie, it's so much fun!

Peggy Sue said...

Oh, You've just made my day!

"Xanadu your neon lights will shine
For you Xanadu..."

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what the Xanadu video refers to when they mention "listening to pop fantasies of Calle Mino" ????

D said...

I came late to "Xanadu", seeing it for the first time just a few years ago. But I fell for it, hard. Full disclosure: I maybe watched it 3 times in 48 hours during one long, apartment-bound, homework-filled weekend.

One of my favorite "Xanadu" memories, though, is when the Broadway cast performed a medley at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade that year, mainly because the crowd looked almost entirely baffled. The joke kind of requires more set-up than that.

Glenn said...

DANNII MINOGUE!!

This movie is amazing.

DANNII MINOGUE!!

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Oh, WHY was I without internet with this seminal anniversary struck? I am forever indebted to my film professor for showing us Xanadu the first day of second semester. If my film career doesn't pan out, perhaps my album Waltdog's Tribute to Xanadu will provide for my old age.

javi75 said...

I've always loved the title song but I don't know the rest of them, nor have I ever seen the movie, and my knowledge of ONJ is limited to "Grease".

That said, that clip was fun. I must say I loved OJN's hair. She looks so much better than anything in Grease. She looks gorgeous in the close-up when she begins singing the song. Didn't know that sexy/fun side of her.

What was Gene Kelly doing there? And I recognized Michael Beck from "The warriors". I guess he's the leading man of the movie.

Habe said...

I just love the 40's big band scene in Xanadu. I understand the 3rd singer, Patty Keane, died the next year 1981. She was only 34! Does anyone know how? Any details about her or her passing are appreciated. I know she did several tours of Hair before Xanadu.

Habe said...

I just love the 40's big band scene in Xanadu. I understand the 3rd singer, Patty Keane, died the next year 1981. She was only 34! Does anyone know how? Any details about her or her passing are appreciated. I know she did several tours of Hair before Xanadu.