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Saturday, December 22, 2007


ModMusic: New Kitschy Musicals!

I've already gone on (and on and on) about how much I adore the glizty kitsch of Xanadu, the Broadway musical adaptation of the Olivia Newton-John stinker. The original cast recording -- officially out January 8, but available from PS Classics right this second -- doesn't fully capture the manic comedy of the stage performance (which is due to the heavily visual shtick of cast members like Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman). But it's still plenty of fun for your morning iPod mix. The songs are more durable than you probably remember, and some of them showcase their performers' dexterity with great elan (Testa's go-for-broke soul on the comic "Evil Woman," the luscious tenor tones of Cheyenne Jackson in the duet "Suddenly"). Look, no one's claiming it's great art...but there hasn't been a show this entertaining all season, and it's an essential addition to any showtune fan's collection.

More (and less) campy fun can be had with the recently-released cast recording of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Stage Musical. After successful runs in Sydney (2006) and Melbourne (2007), the all-singing, all-dancing Aussie drag bonanza is transferring to London late next year. The show shamelessly mines the party staples of the last three decades; songs culled from the film like "I've Never Been To Me" and "Finally" sit next to new/old additions like "Boogie Wonderland", "Venus" and (most inexplicably) Pat Benatar's "We Belong." It's all very energetic and well-executed, but the Velveeta cheese is inescapable, purshing the story's already colorful nature into cartoonish brushstrokes. Still, if you're a friend of Dorothy's and you still cry at the end of Funny Girl, this bus trip will be a journey into showbizzy bliss.

Watch The Videos:
"Scene Clips", Xanadu on Broadway
"Scene Clips", Priscilla: The Musical
"Suddenly (Live on The View)", Xanadu on Broadway
"MacArthur Park", Priscilla: The Musical
Download (For One Week):
"Suddenly", Xanadu
"I Say A Little Prayer For You", Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Official Xanadu Site / MySpace / Facebook
Official Priscilla Site
Then Buy:
2007 Broadway Cast Recording, Xanadu: On Broadway
Original Cast, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Stage Musical

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