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FLASH FRIDAY: Mraz & McKay

This week, in collusion with the premiere of BroadwayWorld's new intensive songwriting discussion series Modern Music Masters, comes a stirring collection of stunning clips from the various live performances - and many, many covers - that have made singer/songwriters Nellie McKay and Jason Mraz known to fans around the globe! We take a look at some of McKay and Mraz's best live performances as well as cast a glance at how their work has been used in other media - in films (RUMOR HAS IT), on television (AMERICAN IDOL, WEEDS) and in live performance - as well as take a look at next week's GLEE cover of the Grammy-winning Mraz-penned duet "Lucky" which will be performed on the show by Dianna Agron and new cast member Chord Overstreet! Be sure to pick up McKay's HOME, SWEET, MOBILE HOME and Mraz's LIFE IS GOOD EP which were released in stores and on iTunes earlier this week! Be sure to pick both of them up - and check out the Modern Music Masters interviews and Sound Off reviews while you're at it! After all, BroadwayWorld is the world's number one source for all the most cutting-edge live music news, theatre news and GLEE news!

Jason Mraz won a Grammy earlier this year for his impossibly lovely, lilting love duet "Lucky" - originally performed with Colbie Calliat - so the appeal of the song has certainly not been lost on the masses (and the critical masses), yet - unlike many idiosyncratic Mraz tunes - it lends itself oh-so-well to re-invention and re-interpretation. Here we have two such examples of the jovial, ingratiating nature of the ditty with the first coming from a special live performance of the song courtesy of GLEE stars Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff - with a few strategic lyric tweaks for the enjoyment and enticement of the audience in the room at the time, and each other - as well as the forthcoming performance of the duet on GLEE as performed by cast-members Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet. The many joys of the song are mellifluously revealed in the airy, romantic guise of Agron and Overstreet, whereas the Michele/Groff version has its more hilarious pleasures. Both are more than worth checking out - as are both of these masterful artists that are the subject of today's Flash Friday!

First, here are BFFs Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele singing "Lucky" at a special fan performance event.

 

Secondly, here is GLEE's "Lucky" as performed by Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet as it will be heard on next week's show.

Next, check out this clip from this year's AMERICAN IDOL finale in which Jason Mraz himself performs his two-year-chart-placing-hit (a Billboard record) "I'm Yours" with the contestants from the show. Some new harmonies, new riffs, and a choral take on the song - all whilst barefoot!

Lastly, here is Jason Mraz giving a heartfelt - "I thought that'd be profound, but it's not" - acapella performance of "I'm Yours" with the college acapella group Androgyny from Davidson College. Please excuse the muddy audio, but there are some quite interesting musical things going on in this clip. The band kicks in eventually, so it's sort of a half & half affair - evidently, much like this week's Flash Friday!

Now, as a special bonus, check out the official music video of the song "David" from Nellie McKay's 2004 debut GET AWAY FROM ME. The song has been famously used on WEEDS - on the premiere episode - and McKay talks of how seeing that moment on film was so instrumental in her feeling that she had finally "made it". She certainly has!

After you've enjoyed that jaunty joint, check out the WEEDS episode where the song was featured, as well as the entire GET AWAY FROM ME album - as well all the rest of Nellie‘s albums, especially the new one! You certainly won't regret it!

Here is another anomaly - an all-male acapella group taking on Nellie's daunting "Cupcake" from 2007's PRETTY LITTLE HEAD. The falsetto notes might not all be there, but the simple fact it is as committed as it is enough to warrants its inclusion here. Between this clip and the acapella "I'm Yours" it seems we have some pretty compelling proof that perhaps someday Nellie and Jason should consider an all-acapella album!

Our last video comes courtesy of Nellie herself - or should I say, multiple Nellies - singing one of her most unique compositions, "Zombie". NOTE: Some unexpected scariness contained within this clip! Yes, she is duetting with herself! Do the Zombie - times two!

That's all for this week. Please remember that if you have discovered a particularly thrilling, unique, bizarre or hilarious Broadway-related clip to please send us a line at the link below. Until next week...

 

 

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Pat Cerasaro Pat Cerasaro is BroadwayWorld's Chief Interviewer and Senior Editor, contributing exclusive columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Flash Fridays as well as additional special features and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more.


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