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Art as Entertainment in the Musical Xanadu Essay

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Art has been enriching the lives of men for ages and ages. From paintings on cave walls, to the Mona Lisa and her suspicious smile, to Andy Warhol and his intrinsic and thought provoking printed cans, art has impacted the lives of every man, woman, and child on Earth. These pieces of art all have strong social or philosophical messages, and have been studied by interpreters everywhere. What people do not usually take a second look at, yet still impacts their lives greatly, is art that exists purely as a form of entertainment. Art that is used as purely entertainment is not completely different from symbolic art or art that has inspired millions of people. This is apparent in the musical Xanadu, where the cultures of Ancient Greece and…show more content…
Art that exists solely as a form of entertainment carries the same intrinsic value than any other art in that it has the power to change a persons’ life in a small yet powerful way. In the musical Xanadu, there are many elements of both Greek culture and the culture that was popular during 1980s America. These elements are both represented in the plot of the story, as well as in the setting of the musical. For instance, the stages for the musical had columns that resembled Greek architecture, and yet at the same time the actors often had roller skates on and were rolling around the stage while singing/acting. This juxtaposition of cultures had a peculiar effect on the audience, as it was made to be satirical and often was used as a comedic gesture.
One instance of this is when the actors make their way to Mount Olympus, where there are paintings of the gods and goddesses hanging and there is a heavy Greek atmosphere. Suddenly, Zeus comes out in a wheelchair, which on the back has a Nike symbol. This caused the audience to laugh because of the merging of the two different cultures. Another time is when Kira is flying through the air on Pegasus on her way to Mount Olympus. During this time, the audience sees numerous objects fly by behind Kira, one of which is ET. This juxtaposition of the Greek woman and mythological creature, as well as an old American movie, caused the audience to laugh and was used
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