During my high school years the last thing I wanted to think about during my summer vacation was the beginning of a new school year. But now all I can think about is the a cappella + beatboxing musings of the Warblers of Dalton Academy and the, mostly, angst driven stylings of William H. McKinley’s New Directions.
If anyone had forgotten how brilliantly narcissistic Rachel (Lea Michele) was or how much of a tool Puck (Mark Salling) can be or even how much more talented and sexy Brittany S. Pierce (Heather Morris) is than the whole cast combined then Glee 3D is the ideal refresher course. Prior to the concert movie experience I thought I was going to be smothered with selections from Rachel & Finn (Cory Monteith), Finn & Rachel, Finn singing about Rachel, Rachel singing about Finn and so on…I was never happier being wrong in my life! Every character, with the exception of Lauren (Ashley Fink), was given a feature performance.
My personal favorites were Santana’s (Naya Rivera) rendition of the Zutons song “Valerie” – most recently covered by the late Amy Winehouse, Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) soul-filled “Ain’t No Way” performance would have made Aretha proud, and Brittany(S. Pierce) being Britney(Spears) made me feel inappropriate during a PG film for the first time. The only performance that, surprisingly, underwhelmed was that of fan-favorite Kurt (Chris Colfer) who got tied into singing “Happy Days Are Here Again”/ “Get Happy” with Rachel and then a very dry version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. And as long as Britney and Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) are in the forefront – or anywhere on stage for that matter – dancing their respective hearts out even “Franken-Finn” and “Ms. Zizes” can’t botch the overall choreography.
The “Glee story” is the story of the underdog, the overlooked and the socially unacceptable; so the insertion of three young fans of the show whose actual lives were mirrored or benefited by the storyline were well-placed correlation pieces. A star cheerleader, who happened to be a dwarf, running for Prom Princess. A homosexual male who was “outed” during high school in a very insensitive and immature way. And a girl diagnosed with a socially debilitating disease who used the show to bond with others. These may be from the more extreme side of the spectrum but the fanbase has proven to be demographically diverse.
The timing for the theatrical debut could not have been any better. Just enough time to boost morale for the upcoming season and giving the highly-touted original cast a grand stage to solidify their mark as a pop-culture phenomenon. With the inevitable “shuffling of the deck” that happens when shows are placed in a high school setting on the horizon, I can’t help but be anxious about what is ahead. Oh summer…