Stage And Screen
by Michael Ball, pop (2001)
Music Club, ASIN B00005MNOC

The biggest Broadway queen, sorry, hero (ahem) is back with a compilation of cover versions and music from the stage, cinema, and TV.

Dude here just cannot resist infecting his brand of overmelodrama schtick on karaoke evergreens like My Heart Will Go On (yes, that song!), Wind Beneath My Wings, Against All Odds, and even R Kelly's snoozebore I Believe I Can Fly. There's Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and even Memories from the musical Cats. Is there any Judy Garland piece here? Needless to say, I have a feeling my gay friends will be on a more enthusiastic rampage to get this CD than me. Maybe I can sell this one to one of them. Hey, Nate, you reading this? Gimme a call.

Let's face it, Memories? If there is any song that has driven people to suicide, it's this one. Do we really need this song? It's so overkilled, and Ball's rendition, complete with shaky-voice dramatics, only adds to the "Oh, brother!" mood of mine.

Then he does that Celine Dion song. "NeaAaAaAaAaAaAr, FAaAaAaAaAaAr!" he goes. "Is he recording this while standing on an electric stone drill?" hubby asks. I don't know, dear, I really don't know. But he does sound very shaky in his voice. And I thought Cliff Richard was bad.

Most of the songs here just either put me to sleep thanks to the safe, dull song selections, or make me cringe because Ball just, well, bawls out and does an over-the-top melodrama act on them. There seems to be no in-between, really. The best audience I can think of for this CD is the karaoke crowd. I can just see them shriek off-key to Memories now.

Rating: 60

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