Draper Park Middle School to present ‘Xanadu, Jr.’
Feb 17, 2020 11:37AM
● By Julie Slama
Draper Park Middle School will put on “Xanadu, Jr.,” which promises to provide fun with 1980s hairstyles, clothing and even roller skates.
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
What does ancient Greece have to do with the 1980s?
The answer will be revealed March 11–14 during Draper Park Middle School’s production of “Xanadu, Jr.” The show, which begins at 6:30 p.m., involves 113 students. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth 18 years and younger.
The musical is based in part on the movie with the same name, which flopped according to critics, but the music was a hit and propelled the musical to a run of 500 nights on Broadway and a U.S. tour.
“I enjoy the show,” Draper Park director Erica Heiner. “It’s fun, quirky, and it’s not afraid to make fun of itself. There are vivid characters, passion and nostalgia.”
Heiner said adults will reminisce with the music, with hits such as “Magic,” “Suddenly,” “All over the World “ and “I’m Alive,” and students are having fun as many have become familiar with that era.
“It’s a charming family show that will connect with parents,” Heiner said.
The show offers DPMS students a chance to also make connections.
“It ties into ancient Greece, which they learn about in school, and has the origins of Greek theater, which is cool to take that and put into a musical,” she said. “They also learn to go outside their comfort zone to connect with their characters and the audience.”
“Xanadu, Jr.” also promises to provide fun with 1980s hairstyles, clothing and even roller skates.
While every show will have the 113 cast members, the leads are double-cast. The show is expected to run for one hour 15 minutes, without intermission.
Students are involved in the make-up, hair, lighting and design, choreography and production of the musical.
“My college education was hands-on, and my approach is the same way,” Heiner said. “I want to give them the experience.”
Two other DPMS teachers — Sam Browley and Kaylie Sullivan — are helping with musical numbers, and two Corner Canyon directors — Phaidra Atkinson and Case Spalding — reached out to help with the finale.
“It’s a good opportunity for our students to get familiar with them, as teachers and directors at the high school many of them will attend,” Heiner said, adding that some set pieces and costumes also were borrowed from Corner Canyon.
The cast began auditions last fall and had 90-minute rehearsals three times per week leading up to winter break. In January, rehearsals moved to daily in preparation for the performances.
“It’s a fun show, one which everyone can connect with,” Heiner said.