I’ve found “somebody to love” – actually, make that an entire cast of “somebodies” in the forms of Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Harry Shum, and Dijon Talton AKA the young stars of FOX’s breakout hit show Glee. With a slew of Golden Globe nominations (and a win for Best Comedy/Musical TV Show) only in its first season and today’s announcement of a third season pick-up even when the second season hasn’t started filming yet, it appears that this cast has stolen the hearts of many as well. If you were lucky enough to catch them live on their very limited-stop live tour (Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago are all that’s on the roster), you’re probably even more smitten with them.
The cast performed their last show for their Los Angeles run last night at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios to a very energetic sold-out crowd. For just a little over a magical hour, fans of all ages enjoyed and sang along to some of the best covers ever of classic and contemporary songs, only in the way that the Glee cast can do them.
Most of the cast members had their time in the spotlight with solos that included Mark Salling’s (Puck) swoon-worthy rendition of “Sweet Caroline” and Amber Riley’s (Mercedes) soaring version of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” Duets were also in store, like Riley and Naya Rivera’s (Santana) “The Boy is Mine” and the epic “Defying Gravity” by Golden Globe nominee and female lead Lea Michele (Rachel) and Chris Colfer (Kurt). Of course, what would Glee be without its signature group numbers? A bunch of them were scattered throughout the show. My personal favorite gave a preview of next week’s Lady Gaga-centered episode – members of the group performed a flashy and hard-hitting cover of the lady’s “Bad Romance,” complete with crazy-perfect replicas of some of Gaga’s signature costumes! You have to see it to believe it. Even the Glee club’s rival group, Vocal Adrenaline, performed their covers of “Rehab” and “Mercy” – that’s how comprehensive and spectacular the live stage show is.
All the performers stayed in character and each musical number stood true to its interpretation on the show. Even the costumes for the most part were exactly what was worn on TV. For example, the cast dressed in pajamas and jumped on mattresses for their recreation of Van Halen’s “Jump,” and the Escalade was brought out with the scantily clad cheerleaders for Riley’s cover of “Bust Your Windows.” It also made for good crowd interaction when Michele started her way from the back of the auditorium and walked through the aisles for her vocally outstanding solo of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” which was what she did for the mid-season finale sectionals.
Although they didn’t make live appearances, the outrageous Sue Sylvester (portrayed by Jane Lynch) and New Directions director Will Schuester (Matt Morrison) were part of the show through pre-taped segments – hair jokes included. Pre-show, the back-up dancers in Cheerios outfits passed around airsick bags to the audience, and in Sue’s opening segment for the show, she explained that watching this show would make everyone sick, hence the distribution of barf bags. Fantastic idea to engage the audience, right?
One surprise live appearance that WAS made, however, was by the newest main cast member, Jonathan Groff, who plays the character of Jesse St. James. The real-life best friend and former castmate of Michele (in Broadway’s Spring Awakening), the two performed their duet of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” as part of the show’s encore.
The show opened with a short set from the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (LxD), which cast member Harry Shum (Mike Chang or as Sue Sylvester called him, “Other Asian”) is a member of. He performed an innovative solo to a mash up of songs and other crew members performed contemporary and hip-hop solos and group routines.
The Glee live show was an amazing testament to one of the best musical and comedic phenomenons to hit television in recent years. I hope that they get another tour soon and go to more cities, because everyone deserves to experience this exceptional cast and production live.
Set list, gallery link, and videos under the cut.
“Don’t Stop Believin'” (Group)
“My Life Would Suck Without You” (Group)
“Push It” (Group)
“Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Lea Michele)
“Beautiful” (Amber Riley)
“Sweet Caroline” (Mark Salling)
“The Boy is Mine” (Naya Rivera and Amber Riley)
“The Lady is a Tramp” (Mark Salling, Naya Rivera, and Amber Riley)
“Defying Gravity” (Chris Colfer and Lea Michele)
“Bust Your Windows” (Amber Riley)
“Bad Romance” (Group)
“Dancing With Myself” (Kevin McHale)
“It’s My Life” / “Confessions Part II” mash-up (The guys)
“Halo” / “Walking on Sunshine” mash-up (The girls)
“Rehab” / “Mercy” (Vocal Adrenaline)
“Faithfully” / “Any Way You Want It” / “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” (Group)
“Like a Prayer” (Group)
“Hello” (Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff)
“True Colors” (Jenna Ushkowitz)
“Somebody to Love” (Group)
“Dancing With Myself” and “It’s My Life”/”Confessions Part II”
“Halo”/”Walking on Sunshine”
“Jump” (With Brittany/Kurt intro)
“Faithfully” / “Any Way You Want It” / “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'”
“Like a Prayer”
Encore: “Hello” / “True Colors” / “Somebody to Love”