Glee Live! In Concert!

What happens when you have the hottest musical/comedy show on television? You take your act on the road! Glee was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, which, believe it or not, was originally intended to be a film. Murphy, however, had other ideas and eventually proposed Glee as a weekly TV show instead of a big screen production. With two seasons in the history books and an ever-growing fanbase, the only logical thing to do next was turn Glee the show into Glee Live!  In Concert!

In addition to conceptualizing the project as a TV show over  a movie, it was also Murphy’s idea to create the tour which features cast members Lea Michele (Rachel), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Dianna Agron (Quinn), Cory Monteith (Finn), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Kevin McHale (Artie), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Naya Rivera (Santana), Harry Shum Jr. (Mike), Chord Overstreet (Sam), Ashley Fink (Lauren), Darren Criss (Blaine), Mark Salling (Puck), and oh-my-god-girl-can-you-dance Heather Morris (Brittany).  On June 14th, 2011, this amazing cast made Cleveland home for a night as they took to the stage at Quicken Loans Arena.  So how was this unconvential transition from TV to stage?  Before we answer that, we need to check out the opening act.

If you’ve never visited www.TheLXD.com, you need to do that right now.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  This article is still going to be here when you get back.  For those not familiar, LXD stands for the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.  Created by director Jon Chu (Step Up 3D), this web-based series (which is also available on DVD) follows a good versus evil plot line focused around dance.  Their dancing builds momentum and energy which can manifest itself into a physically damaging weapon.  You’ll experience hip-hop, breakdancing, expressionist/modern dance, pop lockers and some people that are darn near acrobats.  Taking the stage for about 20 minutes, the LXD troupe featured approximately 8 dancers, all taking their turns on stage to wow the crowd.  However, there were fleeting moments when the choreography actually allowed them to go all out.  Quite frequently, it was far too contained and fragmented for the most part, prohibiting that energy from reaching the audience for the maximum effect.  Make no mistake; this group can bring it any day of the week.  I just wish their choreographer let ’em bring it that often.

After some 40 mnutes of downtime, the lights finally went down again and the 16,000+ audience unleashed a shrill yet positive scream of approval (it seems that Glee‘s got a significant teenie-bopper fanbase).  My prediction was the show would close with Journey’s famous “Don’t Stop Believing,” a song made hugely popular once again through its revival on the first season of Glee.  As it turns out, I was completely wrong and this is what the show opened with.  The place went nuts and as for the cast members, well, they pulled it off with spunk and energy, not to mention a heaping round of solid notes.  The entire show is comprised of songs performed on the show, and while doing so, the cast remained in character.  This added a little bit of well-placed humor to the evening and pretty much gave the audience what they wanted.

Some of the other highlights of the evening included Heather Morris’ performance of Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U,” which she pulled off with incredible ease and sex appeal.  This girl has moves and believe me, she knows how to use them.  Kevin McHale gave a dance-inducing delivery of Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” while Harry Shum Jr. danced his seemingly boneless body around the stage.  Even Darren Criss brought out his pack of Warblers (which drew more than a few favorably mammoth screams of approval) for some smooth-steppin’ tunes backed up by some very prominent stage presence.  Minus the Warblers, the whole Glee cast came out for an abridged version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” while donned in white t-shirts labeled with their characters’ flaws.  The most savvy performance of the night has to go to Chris Colfer and Lea Michele’s “Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy.”  It was nothing short of beautiful and was easily one of the most memorable moments in the entire show, and let me just add, Lea Michele is something incredible in person.  This girl just belts out one tune after another with depth and passion.

So with that in mind, fans of the Fox show will most certainly get their money worth.  For those with no opinion of Glee, I would still recommend catching this act when it’s in town, simply because it’s just damn good music and a box full of talent (not a little box either…like an arena-sized box).  And for those who don’t like Glee, well doom on you, sourpuss.  The cast gave us attendees 90 amazing minutes of entertainment and I did not see one person exit that building without a smile emblazoned on their face…including yours truly.


Comments are currently closed.