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Tune Tuesday : Kerry Butler hopes that Disney fans have room for "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" in their CD collections

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Tune Tuesday : Kerry Butler hopes that Disney fans have room for "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" in their CD collections

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Have you heard about "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust," the new Disney-themed CD that's hitting store shelves today?

Okay. I know. You've already got 'way too many Mouse-related recordings as it is. Soundtracks from various Disney films. Original cast recordings from the Broadway shows. Music from the theme parks. So Why For would you ever need to purchase yet another CD?

Well, it's simple, really. "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" is a recording that was made for Disney fans by a Disney fan.

Kerry Butler – the Tony-nominated star of the Broadway smash "XANADU" -- makes no bones about her " .... crazy obsession with all things Disney." She and her husband, Joey Mazzarino, make regular trips down to the Disney theme parks (and have amassed quite a pin collection in the process). Kerry lulls her 2 1/2 year-old to sleep nightly by singing the lullaby from "Dumbo," "Baby Mine." And did I mention that Butler not only played Belle in the Broadway production of "Beauty and the Beast" but that she also took part in the preliminary workshops for Disney's most recent stage musical, "The Little Mermaid" ?

So clearly Kerry has got it bad for Mickey. And yet -- when PS Classics approached this musical theater vet about possibly recording a solo album -- she initially resisted the idea of doing an all-Disney album.

Kerry Butler and Michael Kosarin review tracks for "Faith, Hope and Pixie Dust."
Photo by Peter James Zielinski / BroadwayWorld.com

"Michael Kosarin, my music director from 'Beauty and the Beast,' kept telling me that I had to do an album of all-Disney songs. And while I really did love all of that material, I still wanted to do something that was small, heartfelt and personal for my solo album," Butler explained. "Which is why I decided to let the fans who visit my website decide what the final track of this recording should be."

Well, as it turns out, the song that Kerry's readers selected was "God Help the Outcasts" from Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." And as she listened to that superb Stephen Schwartz song over & over again, Butler began to re-imagine her solo album.

"I wondered: Would it be possible to do Disney songs, which typically tell these big emotional stories, in a small way? Keep the feeling intimate?," Butler continued. "So Michael and I began experimenting. Stripping back the orchestration on some Disney songs to just guitar or ukulele, slowing down the tempo on others. And eventually we found our way in."

And the end result may be one of the more magical Mouse-related albums to come along in many a year. With Kerry putting her own unique spins on such beloved Disney standards as "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Second Star to the Right" and "The Bare Necessities."

Mind you, Ms. Butler doesn't limit herself to Mickey's golden oldies. She also tackles some of the more contemporary ballads in the Disney catalog, including "Colors of the Wind" from "Pocahontas" as well as "When She Loved Me" from "Toy Story 2." Better yet, Kerry performs several seldom-heard tunes (i.e. "Call Me a Princess," Princess Jasmine's caustic comic number that wound up getting cut from "Aladdin" as well as "Disneyland," Howard Ashman's heartfelt tribute to the Happiest Place on Earth from "Smile"). She also sings a Disney song that has never been recorded before: "This Only Happens in the Movies," a number that Alan Menken and Glenn Slater wrote for "Who Discovered Roger Rabbit," the unproduced sequel for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

 Copyright 2008 PS Classics. All Rights Reserved

But if you were to ask Butler what her favorite song on "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" is, she'd have to say that it was "I'll Try" from Disney's "Peter Pan" sequel, "Return to Never Land."

"This song -- I think -- speaks to all those Disney fan who sometimes get put down by their friends & family for not living in the real world, for being too positive sometimes," Kerry said. " 'I'll Try' actually talks about how tough it is to keep that child-like spirit, that sense of faith & optimism alive in today's world."

Speaking of today's world ... Butler hopes that "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" will actually be able to help make the world a better place. In that Kerry plans on donating a certain portion of the sales of this CD to World Vision, a highly respected charity that helps people all over the world deal with poverty & hunger.

Butler knows first-hand the good that World Vision can do. Given that she and her husband saw this charitable organization in action when they traveled to Ethiopia back in 2007 to adopt their daughter, Segi. Who -- just like Mom -- is turning out to be a bit of a Disney freak.

"When we got back home, the very first song that she really perked up to was 'It's a Small World,' " Kerry laughed. "Now she walks around the house, singing it all the time. It's clearly Segi's favorite. Which is why -- of course -- I had to then include it as part of this album."

 Kerry Butler beltin' in the booth. Photo by
Peter James Zielinski / BroadwayWorld.com

FYI: If you'd like a little taste of "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" before you actually buy this CD, check out this video that the folks at PS Classics put together. Which shows Kerry in the recording booth as well as discussing how she put together the song list for her solo album.

Or -- if you'd prefer to see Ms. Butler in the flesh -- then make a point of being in Manhattan this coming Thursday night. When Kerry will be appearing at the Barnes & Noble on 66th & Broadway. Where she will first perform several numbers from "Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust" and sign copies of her CD.

"It'd be great to have some real Disney fans come out for Thursday's signing," Kerry concluded. "Since I'm such a huge fan of this music myself -- I have dozens & dozens of Disney CDs in my collection. That's how I picked out a lot of the songs for this recording. By listening again to all those CDs -- I'd love to hear what the fans think. To hear if they think that my Disney CD is worth adding to their collection."

Kerry Butler will be appearing at the Barnes & Noble at 1972 Broadway this Thursday night starting at 5:30 p.m. For further information on this in-store promotional appearance, please call (212) 595-6859.

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