Laguna Playhouse announces XANADU as final show, features Newport Beach resident in cast 

Laguna Playhouse concludes its historic 100th anniversary season with the dazzling and magical musical XANADU, with the book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, musical direction by Ricky Pope and directed and choreographed by Paula Hammons Sloan.

According to Executive Producing Director Ellen Richard, “What a euphoric way to close what has been an exceptional 100th anniversary season for the Playhouse with a hilarious book by Douglas Carter Beane and spectacular musical numbers, our subscribers and audiences will close out the summer in a wildly entertaining way!”

Laguna Playhouse Daniels

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Kristen Daniels plays Kira/Clio 

Slap on your roller skates, pump up the glitter, and get hip to the muses in XANADU, the laugh-out-loud musical stage adaptation of the 1980 film which won the Outer Circle Award for “Best Musical!” XANADU follows Clio, the lovely and precocious Greek muse who decides to don her roller skates and legwarmers to become Kira to help Sonny Malone, a chalk artist with half a brain and a heart of gold, rediscover his own creativity. XANADU is a rare musical with a big heart, an even bigger funny bone, and a tongue stuck firmly in its cheek. The smash-hit score includes “I’m Alive,” “Magic,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Xanadu.”

The Cast of XANADU features Kristen Daniels as Kira/Clio, Dorian Quinn as Sonny, Jonathan Van Dyke as Danny/Zeus, Michelle Bendetti as Calliope/Aphrodite, Judy Mina-Ballard as Melpomene/Medusa and will also feature Daniella Castoria, Erika Harper, A.J. Love, Alec Mittenthal, Patrick Murray and Ellery Smith.

Laguna Playhouse Bendetti

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Michelle Bendetti, of Newport Beach, plays Calliope/Aphrodite

Bendetti, a Newport Beach resident, is the current president at the Newport Theatre Arts Center (NTAC), former City of Newport Beach Arts Commissioner and a participant and supporter of the local theater scene. After more than two years of working to reopen NTAC after many COVID challenges, it was time to get back on stage. This is her third show at the Laguna Playhouse.

Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1 and 5:30 p.m. There will be added performances on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. There will be no performance on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $55-$95 and can be purchased online or by calling 949.497.ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949.497.2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Mondays – Saturdays, 12-4 p.m.; Sundays open two hours prior to show time until 15 minutes after the curtain. Open until showtime on all performance days.

XANADU begins previews on Wednesday, Aug. 3; will open on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. with performances through Sunday, Aug. 21.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Drive, Laguna Beach.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit