This week’s song of the week is “Old Devil Moon” by Cheyenne Jackson. Last week we saw him in Finian’s Rainbow, and I can’t get this song out of my head. Here’s a clip of him singing it from the show:

I was slightly familiar with the song, since it’s become an old pop standard, but it had never really stood out to me before. Now it’s one of my favorite songs. I love its old-fashioned romanticism, and Jackson does a great job singing it.

It is a great song, but the main reason it’s impressed me so much is that I thought Cheyenne Jackson was a revelation in Finian’s Rainbow. The moment he first walked out on stage I gasped out loud at his hunkiness. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is, “What a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man!” I had read about him on gay blogs before, and I have to say everything I’ve read about him is true: he’s a total hunk!

He really fills out a pair of jeans. I once read that his thighs are amazing, and they are. But what stood out to me was that he’s hunky without looking like a gym queen. Not only is he handsome with piercing blue eyes, but he comes across on stage as unselfconsciously butch. Kind of like he’s been raised on a farm rather than in a gym. In fact, on stage he looked a little closer to normal than to a beefy gym queen, which makes him even sexier.

And he’s got a great voice and can act. His interactions with Kate Baldwin in the clip above, for example, shows how good he is on stage. It’s the little things, like how he touches her arm gently when her back is to him, that builds his character, Woody, as sensitive and caring. When he looks at her, we see his love for her. This is one case, I guess, where the gay guy ought to get awards for acting straight, because I thought he was totally convincing as a heterosexual man in this role. These little actions, combined with his butchness, are what makes it work, I think.

This is probably the point where I should say that I understand the difference between loving Cheyenne-Jackson-the-stage-actor and Cheyenne-Jackson-the-real-person. I don’t know much of anything about the latter, except what I’ve read: that he’s an out gay man who grew up in a religious family and who has a partner. Since I’m unlikely to ever meet or interact with the real person, he doesn’t really interest me all that much.

Cheyenne Jackson the performer, however, does. He’s totally hot and talented, and I hope he has a great career. Someone really ought to cast him as Curly in a production of Oklahoma. He’d be perfect. I’m certainly casting him as the fantasy leading man of my dream stage production! (I play Laurey, of course!)

In the meantime, I quickly learned that Jackson has an album out with Michael Feinstein called The Power of Two. It’s based on a cabaret show they did together last summer. It’s mostly standards, songs like “Me and My Shadow,” “A Foggy Day,” “Old Devil Moon,” “I Get Along without You Very Well,” “We Kiss in the Shadow,” and “Someone to Watch over Me.” Some of the songs are duets; others are solos. Of course, I love all of Jackson’s tracks. His version of “A Foggy Day,” one of my favorite songs and one that I’ve decided is PJ’s and my song, is great.

He and Feinstein do “We Kiss in the Shadow” as a duet, which makes it a great queer love song about gay equality. Once again in what can only be described as a moment of profound gayness when I was a child I’ll admit that this song was one of my favorite show tunes when I was a kid — how gay was I and how could my parents not know?!

The Power of Two is a great album of show tunes and standards. I’m still becoming familiar with it. So far, I really like it. Because I’m now a Cheyenne Jackson queen and because I had a great time in NYC last week, his version of “Old Devil Moon” is my song of the week.

Here are the lyrics:

I look at you and suddenly,
Something in your eyes I see
Soon begins bewitching me.
It’s that old devil moon
That you stole from the skies.
It’s that old devil moon
In your eyes.

You and you glance
Make this romance
Too hot to handle.
Stars in the night
Blazing their light
Can’t hold a candle
To your razzle-dazzle.

You’ve got me flyin’ high and wide
On a magic carpet ride
Full of butterflies inside.
Wanna cry, wanna croon,
Wanna laugh like a loon.
It’s that old devil moon
In your eyes.

Just when I think, I’m
Free as a dove.
Old devil moon,
Deep in your eyes,
Blinds me with love.

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