Review: Snider's twisted take on Broadway tunes

WAYNE PARRY Associated Press Published:

Dee Snider "Dee Does Broadway" (Razor & Tie)

In a signature song early in his career, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider vowed "I'll Never Grow Up." But bless his twisted heart and frizzed-out hair, that's exactly what's happening to the heavy metal legend, best known for hits like "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock."

Dee Snider has become a brand. He's done stints as a commercial voice-over actor, a radio DJ, a reality TV star and budding author. But "Dee Does Broadway," a collection of iconic classics from the Broadway stage, is the boldest departure yet from the MTV fixture of the '80s. It melds the timeless melodies and passions of musical hits with the fire, intensity and energy of heavy metal. (Think Angela Lansbury meets Alice Cooper.) It makes more sense when you consider that Snider had a featured role in 2010 in the '80s rock musical "Rock Of Ages," which put the Broadway bug into him.

They don't keep records on this sort of thing, but it's a safe bet that Snider is the first heavy metal star to record the words "ol' chum" in a song when he covers "Cabaret," the scene-setting opening track. "The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd" sounds like a perfect third act to Twisted Sister's "Horror-Teria" and would fit seamlessly in one of the band's live shows.

If Paul Stanley of Kiss could sing "Music Of The Night" from "Phantom Of The Opera," then so can Dee Snider. He also teams up with son Jesse Blaze Snider on a frenetic cover of "The Joint Is Jumpin'" from "Ain't Misbehavin'."

Seemingly everyone who was on "The Celebrity Apprentice" for the last few years except Lou Ferrigno does a cameo on this disc, led by a delightfully wacky duet with Cyndi Lauper on "Big Spender." Even better is a duet with Clay Aiken on "Luck Be A Lady Tonight" from "Guys And Dolls" which, it is safe to say, rocks harder than anything Aiken has ever done.

Like a great Broadway production, the album builds to a final crescendo in "Tonight/Somewhere" from "West Side Story," in which "Evita" star Patti LuPone and Snider give the '80s power ballad treatment to one of the stage's most enduring melodies. Haters beware: The dude really CAN sing!

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: "Razzle Dazzle" is from the musical "Chicago," but Twisted Sister fans will doubtless latch onto the cowbell drum beat that is very similar to the one that made "We're Not Gonna Take It" such an adrenaline rush.