Greek Myth Meets Disco: CF Theatre Presents ‘Xanadu’


This April 13-16, the College of Central Florida’s own student performers will sing, dance, and stunt skate across the stage in a production of the vibrant musical comedy on wheels, “Xanadu.”

Kelli Piel stars as Greek muse Clio, played in the original 1980 film by pop icon Olivia Newton-John. After being brought to life by struggling street artist Sonny Malone, played by CF’s Jackson Reed, Clio dons legwarmers, an Australian accent and a mortal persona: Kira. Together, Kira and Sonny embark on a journey to open the world’s first roller disco.

“Xanadu” parodies many aspects of the original, leaning more into the Greek mythology plotlines and flamboyant ‘80s aesthetic. It features a lively soundtrack of Electric Light Orchestra hits and original songs.

“‘Xanadu’ is high-energy fun that will keep audiences laughing,” said Nonalee Davis, CF assistant professor of theater and the play’s director. “Plus, the music will make you want to get up and dance!”

For both of the show’s leads, performing in a musical was a new experience.

“I love music, and music is my passion, so when I heard about ‘Xanadu’ and the musical, I’m like, ‘I have to audition for this,’” said Piel. “It’s combined the music and singing, which I love, and acting and dancing, which I hadn’t had much experience with, but this has really helped me with that and kind of brought that out.”

Reed shared the sentiment.

“For me, it’s actually my first musical,” said Reed. “I feel like that’s definitely the best part about it: just being able to sing and dance and act, all at once.”

Although Broadway productions of “Xanadu” have smaller casts, with most actors playing multiple roles, CF’s rendition will feature a total cast of 28 students.

The set, designed by Tyler Stentiford, features two ramps for exciting stunt skating choreography on inline and quad skates alike.

“I think students are really going to like to see all of the fun special effects, the skating and the tricks that we have planned out,” said stunt skater and Thetis actress Emily Murphy. “I think it’s going to be a really cool experience.”

CF students can experience the magic for free at 7:30 p.m. on April 13-15, or at 3 p.m. on April 16, at the Dassance Fine Arts Center, 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for non-CF students and can be purchased by calling 352-873-5810 or online at