Whoopi + Xanadu = Oh Hell Why Not


At James Wolcott’s urging, we took in Xanadu a few months back. The music of ELO, rollerskates, Tony Roberts, no intermission: what wasn’t to like? And orchestra seats were cheap and plentiful at TKTS. It was the native New Yorker’s perfect cheap Broadway night-out.

How will Monday’s announcement that Whoopi Goldberg joins the show July 29 in a supporting role (one of the heckling Greek chorus) affect this?

If anything, we count it a plus. Xanadu got shut out at the Tonys, so it must remain a lukewarm ticket at best. And Whoopi’s is a small role, previously played by Jackie Hoffman as a niche for mugging: the Oscar/Tony/Emmy/Grammy winner’s presence may draw some star-struck outlanders for a few weeks, but eventually they’ll seek bigger game elsewhere, leaving homegirl to ham it royally for the real people. Hell, if you score on-stage seats then, she might take advantage of the relative box-office quiet to drop some Hollywood Squares on you. So leave a Thursday in August free and send your unemployed cousin to the Marriott Marquis on gameday to fetch tickets; it ain’t Hair but it’s easy.