Various Artists

Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays

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Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays puts its best face forward right away with the lighthearted and slightly naughty first track, "Baby Its Cold Outside," performed by Alan Cumming and Liza Minnelli. The pairing is magical and sets a great tone for this benefit album for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS organization, which helps entertainment professionals afflicted with AIDS. The rest of the album may not be as lighthearted as the leading track, but the stellar cast of performers -- which includes Audra McDonald, Lea Delaria, Billy Porter, Patrick Wilson, Victor Garber, Jane Krakowski, and Ann Hampton Callaway, among others -- ensures that the versions of Christmas classics presented here will be something special. And it is. Great performances of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "O Holy Night," and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" are just a few of the many highlights. The orchestration ranges from light pop to full musical theater strurm und drang, but never goes too far over the top. Included is a booklet with a message from each of the performers.

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