Whoopi laces up for ‘Xanadu’

Actress to play Caliope this summer

Whoopi Goldberg will roll into a stint in Broadway’s “Xanadu” this summer, playing scheming muse Caliope in the musical spoof of the infamous 1980 roller-disco flop.

Goldberg announced the gig Monday morning on “The View,” the gabfest she co-hosts.

Thesp steps into “Xanadu” for six weeks beginning later this month, taking over for Jackie Hoffman, who temporarily departs to concentrate on the impending release of a CD, “Jackie Hoffman Live From Joe’s Pub.”

Broadway has become an increasingly high-profile aspect of Goldberg’s career lately. She hosted the Tony Awards June 15, and as a producer she has a couple of stage projects brewing, including the upcoming revival of “for colored girls…”CQ skedded to open Sept. 8 (the day after Goldberg’s final perf in “Xanadu”).

Goldberg last appeared on Broadway in 2004 in “Whoopi,” an update of the multi-character solo show that marked her Rialto debut in 1984. She has starred on the Main Stem in a 2003 revival of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (which she co-produced) and in the 1996 revival of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” She also was a producer of 2002 musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

Goldberg’s “Xanadu” engagement could majorly boost the profile of the Broadway tuner. Thesp not only adds name recognition to the cast but also can contribute the national TV exposure afforded by her “View” duties.

“Xanadu” received strong press when it opened in July 2007 and in spring garnered four Tony noms, although weekly sales figures have several times dipped below the $200,000 mark. Last week the tuner brought in $216,449 and played to houses that averaged 68% of capacity.

Goldberg appears in “Xanadu” July 29-Sept. 7. Hoffman returns to the tuner Sept. 9.

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