Could It Be Magic? The Wonder Twins do Barry Manilow

Mar 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm


This past Friday, the Wonder Twins spent the evening at the Fox Theatre with their mom and the man who writes the motherf**kin’ songs. Here’s their first-hand account from the Mani-rave.

Laura:I think we should first and foremost let our fine readers know that we did not go to this show for ironic reasons.

D’Anne:No way. We grew up listening to Barry Manilow. In fact, that’s probably what made us gay.

Laura:Plus considering the ticket prices, even the cheap seats were out of the acceptable price range for irony.

D’Anne:Right. We took Mom for her birthday. Our childhood overexposure to the adult contemporary sounds of Mr. Manilow being entirely her fault.

Laura: Yes. In fact, mom used to say, “He can put his shoes under my bed any time.” Which I always thought was a little weird seeing as I never understood why Mr. Manilow was in need of a place to put his loafers.

D’Anne: Me neither. Although I don’t get the feeling that his shoes are under any lady’s bed.

Laura: Not that we want to dash the hopes and dreams of millions of Fanilows.

D’Anne: I wish Fanilows were, like, the middle class white lady version of Juggalos. Like, spraying Pepsi and Dr. Pepper all over the place and having huge Manilow-related stickers on the back windows of their modest sedans.

Laura: Yes. And it would have to be Pepsi and Dr. Pepper because Barry wrote commercial jingles for them back in the day. He actually wrote a lot of famous jingles. “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” That’s Barry too.

D’Anne: Also, “I am stuck on Band-Aids...” In fact every time you buy a box of Band-Aids Barry Manilow gets a dollar.

Laura: You made that up.

D’Anne: You don’t know.

Laura: Whatever. When we first got to the show, the ushers gave us all glow sticks. Which was great since I had the foresight to bring a few hits of ecstacy. I just had this feeling that seeing Barry Manilow live would be a lot like a rave. A Mani-rave!

D’Anne: When the usher gave me my glow stick I asked her what it was for and she said, “So you can feel like a kid again.” I wanted to say, “Look lady, I’m probably the youngest person here.”

Laura: I think we totally were.

D’Anne: When the lights went down, the crowd at the packed Fox Theatre went nuts. I haven’t heard that much girly shrieking since we saw New Kids on the Block.

Laura: And for the next hour and a half, Barry Manilow tore some shit up. I mean, not literally -- he did just have hip replacement surgery.

D’Anne: Which he blamed on “30 years of Copacabana.” Then he came out as a Vicodin addict.

Laura: It’s a brave thing to come out. Ahem.

D’Anne: I cannot get over how much the ladies still love him. I think he’s almost 70, but his plastic surgery makes him look more like 700. Thank god we were in the nosebleed seats so we could pretend he doesn’t look like an automatron now.

Laura: He’ll always have that Manilow Magic over the women. During “Looks Like We Made It” I saw one of the ushers reach up and undo her ponytail and shake her hair loose like women in the movies do when they’re captivated by the power of masculinity and adult contemporary music.

D’Anne: One of my favorite parts of the show was during “Weekend In New England” when he sang, “When can I touch you?” and a woman near the front screamed, “Right now!” He stopped playing for a second while the rest of the women in the audience whooped and hollered before saying, “I still got it!”

Laura: He’s a pretty funny guy. Lots of witty stage banter. Like when he changed into a leather jacket and called himself “New York City macho” saying, “Give me a beer. Pull my finger.”

D’Anne: Or when he said that the song “If I Should Love Again” was inspired by old ladies and crack addicts on the Jersey shore.

Laura: I’m pretty sure all good love songs are inspired by old ladies and crack addicts. Or at least Snooki.

D’Anne: I was really glad that the set list consisted primarily of vintage Barry. I was a little worried that we’d have to sit through a lot of his latest stuff, which consists of covers of his favorite songs through the decades.

Laura: He only did one, I think. A song by the Bee Gees. And “through the decades” stops for Barry Manilow at the 80s. He said, “I stopped at the 90s because even though I’m one of the greatest rappers of all time I didn’t want to do my own version of ‘Bootylicious.’”

D’Anne: I’m thinking about starting a “Tell Barry Manilow that the world needs his version of ‘Bootylicious’” online petition.

Laura: I would totally sign that.

D’Anne: Remember when Mom picked us and a friend up from junior high school and she was blasting Barry Manilow’s “Daybreak” in the car?

Laura: And how that friend was horrified because she thought that he was singing “Date Rape?”

D’Anne: I can’t hear that song any other way now.

Laura: Me either. Apparently Mom can’t either because she leaned over to me as the song started and said, “It’s your ‘Date Rape’ song!

D’Anne: We have a weird family.

Laura: Barry did a lot of cool stuff with video during the show. Like with the song “Mandy.” He left the stage and this video started playing. He then came back out and started duetting with his 70’s self.

D'Anne: The only way it would have been better is if he had come back on stage wearing that exact same outfit. It’s kind of the best outfit ever.

Laura: It’s no wonder so many men soon grew resentful of him. How could the average American man possibly compete with a guy who wears skin tight glittery shirts and sings gooey love ballads?

D’Anne: It is not a look most men could pull off. It kind of says, “Hey, kick my ass.”

Laura: More like, “Hey, kick my ass and I’ll send you pictures of your wife tending to my injuries and a CD of the song I just wrote for her. Sucker.”

D’Anne: He might be the butt of a bajillion jokes, but this crowd - and the fact that a second show was added the next night - showed a lot of people love them some Barry.

Laura: True. And I have to admit, I teared up a couple of times when he played some of his more emotional ballads.

D’Anne: I think that was the handful of ecstacy you gobbled right before “Can’t Smile Without You.”

Laura: Oh. Right.

D’Anne: Mom and I got high on Barry’s music alone.

Laura: Pshh. Squares.

-- D'Anne and Laura Witkowski