Saturday, May 29, 2010
Glee to Be You and Me!
Saturday afternoon I was lucky enough to be taken to "Glee Live! In Concert" at Radio City Music Hall. While I'm not a full on Gleek, I enjoy the show a lot, and have been fascinated by the idea of them taking the show on tour. What would it look/sound like in person as opposed to on screen? What numbers would they do? How would it all be put together?
Well I have to say I was very impressed. The opening act or the show was the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers and LXD is no fucking joke. They do moves that seem to defy laws of physics, gravity and bodily movement. You may have caught them on So You Think You Can Dance performing their amazing routine to Coldplay's "Yellow." They staged it live today and it's just so great. Also, LXD features Glee Cast Member Harry Shrum Jr., and since his character doesn't get a lot of attention on the show, it was sweet that he got so much attention live on stage. He seemed really touched and thrilled by the crowd's enthusiastic reception of him.
So LXD warmed up the crowd and then there was a (very long) 20 minute intermission before Glee kicked in. The screeching of the Gleeks when the show finally started was... mind-shattering. These people went CRAZY as the cast came out. The cast seem so excited to be there and to get to perform. good thing, because the people behind the concert crammed pretty much every possible song that featured just the Glee kids (no songs with the adult characters were featured) into 85 minutes of show. Here's the set list:
Don't Stop Believin'
My Life Would Suck Without You
Don't Rain on My Parade
Dancing With Myself
The Lady Is A Tramp
Halo/Walkin' on Sunshine
Bust Your Windows
The Boy Is Mine
Any Way You Want It
Like A Prayer
Somebody to Love
As you can see, they sang a lot and the cast really worked their asses off up there. Vocally, Lea Michelle (Rachel), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Chris Colfer (Kurt) and Mark Salling (Puck) did most of the heavy-lifting. Heather Morris (Brittany) and Harry Shum Jr. (Mike) really highlighted all the dance numbers. Heather Morris especially got a lot of time in the spotlight as she went out on stage to talk to different people in character while the stage was getting set up for different production numbers. She's also incredibly hot and a totally engrossing dancer. I know that Amber Riley was on stage somewhere while singing "Bust Your Windows" but I couldn't tell you where while Morris was dancing on top of the SUV.
Everyone else in the cast had their featured moments throughout and I thought everyone did well. The least featured cast member was Dianna Agron (Quinn) who I don't think ever really sang a solo. She didn't seem to mind, however, as she matched everyone else's high octane enthusiasm throughout each number while singing in the chorus.
The show itself was kind of a hybrid rock concert/show choir performance extravaganza. with lasers and fireworks and big flashing overhead videos. It's quite intense and very very loud. There's also a group of supplemental dancers who sometimes filled in to make the stage look more full and also double as rival show choir "Vocal Adrenaline" - they performed the group's Rehab and Mercy numbers. One of the members of Vocal Adrenaline looked exactly like grown up Draco Malfoy and that was a little distracting, but he danced well. Also, as a nice cameo, Jonathan Groff (Jesse) showed up to duet with Lea Michele on "Hello." I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that the decibel level in Radio City raised to a new height when Groff came out on stage.
All in all, it was really very entertaining and the audience couldn't have been more eager to take it all in. It was really fun to see what the cast could do on a live stage. My personal favorite numbers were Bad Romance, Jump, Defying Gravity, and Bust Your Windows. It may take me a few days before my sense of hearing returns to normal, but it was worth it. The production was just brimming with exuberance all the songs were anthems of love and positivity. Glee is a show that whether it's on TV or live in concert, tends to live up to its name.
Note to pre-teen girls in future Glee audiences: The cast will not wave to you mid-song, no matter how hard you wave at them. You should not attempt it. You are annoying the people who sit directly behind you and you're setting yourself up for a profound sense of failure when you go unacknowledged for the entire show. Also it looks like you're really making your arm tired. The performers can't see you from the stage, even though you seem really close to it, so just clap and scream for them and you'll avoid "down in front" heckles from your fellow rabid Gleeks a few rows back.