Xanadu To Hit Broadway in June - AP

Xanadu To Hit Broadway in June

NEW YORK (AP) - Spring on Broadway hasn’t even started, but the first musical of the 2007-08 season already is in sight.

“Xanadu,” based on the campy 1980 film about a Greek muse who helps a young man build a disco roller rink, will open June 26 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Preview performances begin May 23.

The musical will star Kerry Butler as Kira, the role played in the movie by Olivia Newton-John. The film also featured Michael Beck and the legendary Gene Kelly.

No other casting for the musical was announced but the show has a book by Douglas Carter Beane, author of this season’s “The Little Dog Laughed.” It will feature songs from the movie by John Farrar and Jeff Lynne. They include such pop hits as “Magic,” “Party All Over the World,” “I’m Alive” and the title tune.

Butler is best known for her portrayal of the sweetly ditzy Penny Pingleton in “Hairspray.” She also played Audrey in the 2003 Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Although Jane Krakowski had been featured in the most recent workshops of the musical, it was Butler who created the role of Kira in the first Xanadu reading. Lead producer Robert Ahrens said in a statement, “Kerry Butler was our first choice and we are thrilled that her schedule has now opened up to join our production.”

Directed by Christopher Ashley, the musical will officially open June 26, making the show ineligible for this year’s Tony Award nominations.