04/11/03
Philadelphia Chickens
    by John Cech

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That's the actress Laura Linney in one of the show-stopping tunes on Sandra Boynton's and Michael Ford's Philadelphia Chickens -- their "too-logical zoological musical review." Ms. Boynton is best known for her delightfully up-beat board books for young children like Hippos Go Beserk, Snoozers, and Moo, Baa, La La La. But she's pushing into new territory with these songs that are, in many cases, send-ups of standard musical fare --, like the opening number, "Cows," that comes right out of "A Chorus Line," or Kevin Kline's patter song in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan, about the frantic, funless world of adults.

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There's the wonderful Patty LuPone, doing a song about tantrums, "I Like to Fuss," and there are plenty of surprises -- like Meryl Streep with every little kid's lament, "Nobody Understands Me," Scott Bakula with his utopian fantasy, "Pig Island," and Eric Stoltz with the oh-so-mellow "Snuggle Puppy." And who can resist Natasha Richardson's tender "Silly Lullaby" to bring the sleepy curtain down:

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Copyright 2003 John Cech

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Tuesday, 25-Mar-2003 19:07:03 EST


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