Glee Live!

I am not the least bit ashamed to admit it: I am a Gleek.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, “Gleek” is the name given to fans of Fox’s hit TV series “Glee.” The show is about a high school show choir and its members, who constantly struggle to fit in. Characters in the show wrestle with popularity, sexual identity, teen pregnancy, alcohol, death, single-parent families, and many other “heavy” topics. In just two years, the show has been nominated for 19 Emmys and 11 Golden Globe awards.

But let’s be honest: It’s really about the music. With more than 16 million song downloads, the Glee gang has the distinction of holding the record for most titles on the Billboard Hot 100. They recently surpassed Elvis.

“Glee” is like a tiny little Broadway musical coming into your home every Tuesday night. I was really excited about the show even before Fox aired the pilot two years ago, because it stars Lea Michele, whom I’d seen not once but twice on Broadway (in “Spring Awakening”) and Matthew Morrison, whom I’d also seen on Broadway (in “Hairspray.”)

In the past two seasons, I’ve grown to love the other regular characters just as much as Rachel (Michele) and Mr. Schuester (Morrison). And other stars I’ve seen in their Broadway roles keep popping up as guest stars on Glee: Idina Menzel (“Wicked”), Kristen Chenowith (“Wicked”), Jonathan Groff (“Spring Awakening.”) It’s an absolute love-fest for those of us who can’t get enough of Broadway.

Last summer, the cast toured the country with a “Glee Live” show. This summer, it’s an even bigger tour. And when they announced that one of their 2011 dates included Minneapolis…well, my whole family Gleeked out.

My husband and two daughters and I don’t agree on very much. But we all love New York, Broadway shows, and Glee. We own every Glee CD (which seem to come out about every other week) and DVD. We’ve watched the episodes over and over. We talk about the cast like we actually know them. It’s probably a little bit strange.

We nabbed tickets not just the day they went on sale but the MINUTE they went on sale. The June 1 show was booked into the gigantic Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, so we knew we’d be seeing the show with about 50,000 of our closest friends.

So…the show was yesterday, and we were not disappointed. We sang, we danced, we screamed like we were at a freaking Beatles concert. We didn’t have great seats because the place is HUGE, but it was just so cool to be able to hear these wonderful young singers (and see them dance) in person.

Highlights for me (and, really, if you’re not a fan of the show, you should stop reading right now, because you will just get bored): Kurt and “the girls” dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Artie getting up out of his wheelchair to do “The Safety Dance,” Brittany dancing to Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U” (and Brittany dancing, in general), the whole ensemble doing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” while wearing those awesome character-revealing black and white T-shirts, and Rachel singing Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

I may have cried just a little bit when Kurt sang his sorrowful rendition of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” from the episode where his father almost died. Oh, and not only Blaine but ALL of the Warblers were there, performing “Teenage Dream,” “Raise Your Glass,” and “Silly Love Songs.” And did I mention the stirring performance of My Chemical Romance’s anthem-like “Sing”?

I could go on but, well, the whole concert was just fantastic. As my daughter, Katie, said, as she was jumping up and down next to me, “This is the most fun I ever had!”


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