It was the very last breath of the 1970s. I was in Australia, visiting relatives. There are many things about this trip that were exciting for a teeny midwest girly like me, but there was one thing that was more heartstopping, more electrifying than anything else. Was it the fact that I got to see koalas, emus, and kangaroos in person? BORING. Was it the fact that I got to walk all the way across the Sydney Harbor Bridge and then visit the famous Sydney Opera House? SNOOZEFEST. There was one thing that blew all of that boolshizz out of the warm blue Pacific water.
Olivia Newton-John was from Australia. And she was blitzing the Australian media promoting XANADU.
I know that people my age have a fascination with the movie Grease. And believe me, I am not dissing it. I can sing the “brusha brusha brusha” jingle just as well as anyone else. I know every last syllable of that movie and if you are a pop culture child of my generation, you probably can too. And I also give props to ONJ for her “Let’s Get Physical” years. Anyone who can rock the terry cloth sweatbands is ok by me. But in between the 70s era Grease and the oh-so-80s “Make a Move on Me,” square in the crack between decades, was my favorite ONJ effort: Xanadu.
I am just going to say this. Xanadu has an Andy Gibb look-alike. And ELO music. And a duet with CLIFF RICHARD. And those awesome 70s barrettes with the ribbon hanging off the ends. And rollerskating. Lots and lots of rollerskating.
You’d think, that with my obvious love for the movie, that I would be all atwitter about the Broadway musical remake. Au contraire. In fact, I am annoyed with the musical. I saw a clip on the Today show, and I wanted to barf. The reason for the pukey feeling was that they were trying to camp it up. YOU CAN’T CAMP UP XANADU, PEOPLE. The campy, it must be organic. You know what I mean? It’s like, they were trying to HIGHLIGHT the campy. Which makes me, as an audience member, feel like an idiot. Do they think that I don’t KNOW that Xanadu is silly, far-fetched, over-dramatic, and largely nonsensical? Do they think I need this pointed out to me?
What can I say? I can be ok with “Time After Time” being remade. But this? I can’t do. I have my standards.