Xanadu is a hilariously cute parody of the 1980 Xanadu movie starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. The movie was a flop but the Broadway musical was a surprise hit. I love it because of the songs. Plus, there are a lot of moments that you should not miss.

I was expecting to laugh as much as I laughed during Spelling Bee or Avenue Q, but I guess some of the jokes were lost in generational translation. If you are familiar with Xanadu and Olivia Newton-John, then you’ll appreciate this show. If not, I suggest you read this entire review and watch the videos first before seeing it.

1. Watch from the stage for only P400, and be part of the show!

(photo taken by Girlie Rodis)

You’ll get to sit right onstage (3 semi-circular rows are provided for the audience) and see the performances literally “behind-the-scenes”. You’ll see the backs of the actors as you’ll be facing the audience. But the best part is you get to participate in the entire production in your own little way.

2. “Suddenly” is one of the highlights of the entire musical.

I’ll watch it again just to see Rachel Alejandro and Felix Rivera perform “Suddenly”. Watch the US Broadway show version and the original version by Olivia Newton-John. I promise that the Manila performance is better. 🙂

Video Link: Cheyenne Jackson and Kerry Butler performing “Suddenly” from the Broadway show Xanadu!

Video Link: Olivia Newton-John & Cliff Richard – SUDDENLY

3. I was pleasantly surprised to see Chari Arespacochaga perform in Xanadu.

Chari plays Melpomene, the muse of tragedy and one of the evil women in the play. I’ve never seen her perform onstage because her last performance was in Dogeaters in 2007. It was a truly pleasant surprise to see her sing, dance and act all at the same time (of course, without the roller skates).

4. The “Xanadu” Last Song Syndrome.

The song “Xanadu” grows on you. View the original performance (from the movie) below and watch Rachel practicing the song. See it live — for sure, you’ll hear the song playing in your head even after the musical ends.

Video Link: Xanadu featuring Oliva Newton-John & ELO. A modern era cult classic

Video Link: Xanadu sang by Rachel Alejandro

5. Xanadu is like watching a Broadway musical version of Bubble Gang.

Reminisce the Roller Disco era with Xanadu, where roller skates and armpits are on display throughout the show! Don’t miss seeing Felix Rivera wearing short shorts, and Rachel Alejandro as Olivia Newton-John.


Xanadu runs until Sept. 19 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium.

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Disclosure: We are marketing partners with the successful Sept. 4 Xanadu Opening Saturday Show.

P.S. The show starts at 8pm exactly. It is only one act — meaning no intermission. The show ends early, at around 9.30pm.