Three reasons why Glee is great.

There is no question that Glee is great for Broadway.  Here are three reasons why I love it:

1.  IT PUTS BROADWAY PEEPS TO WORK

The transition from theater to television is a lot more difficult now than it was in the early days of both industries.  Look at how many great Broadway actors are out there that you haven’t seen headlining in movies and piloting pilots.

And then along comes a show like Glee, and the casting directors can’t get enough from our pool: Lea Michele, Matt Morrison, Jonathan Groff, John Lloyd Young, Debra Monk and more.

The longer it runs, the more our folks will get a chance to lend their talents and their pipes to that program.  And then they’ll hopefully come back to Broadway and bring some fans with them.

2.  IT PUTS SHOWTUNES NEXT TO POP TUNES

“Where Is Love,” “Tonight,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” and “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat,” are just a few of the showtunes featured on Glee, and these classics are smacked right up next to songs like “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Rehab,” and “Single Ladies.”

The line between pop and showtunes is being blurred.

Who knows, maybe we’ll go back to the days when major rock bands like, oh, I don’t know, The Beatles, sang showtunes when looking to make a big splash on television.

3.  IT PUTS SINGING INTO STORIES

So often I hear people say, “I just don’t get musicals.  People start singing.  What the?  People just don’t do that!”

For the most part, Glee chose the Jersey Boys model (or Altar Boyz model, for that matter) where the musical numbers are actual performances and not “sung scenes.”  Still, having a show like Glee helps audiences get used to the fact that music can be incorporated seamlessly into entertainment.
The movie musical has helped Broadway significantly over the past decade, with shows like Hairspray, Chicago, Phantom and Rent ALL adding years to their runs (and millions to their box offices) thanks to their movie counterparts.

Broadway now seems to be making its way into television, in a subtler way, but in a way nonetheless.

Let’s hope shows like Glee continue to merge the two mediums.

Comments
  • Thom says:

    Isn’t this show great? A favorite in our house.
    You know, when I was an actor on TV in the late 70s early 80s, it was much harder for us to come to Broadway. Shortly after, you had to be on TV to get a job on Broadway. A friend with a lot of Broadway credits could no longer find work until she headed west and got “discovered” by TV. Then she was back in NY, and her career went to the next level.
    GLEE gives me hope for my own daughter, graduating out of CAP at Tisch this spring, that the road from NY to LA will become a super highway of work!

  • GLEE consistently amazes me. It’s like watching a mini Broadway musical along with it’s own backstage story every week. Almost makes me wish I were a kid again.

  • Nick says:

    I was skeptical about Glee when I first heard the premise — I thought it would be a weak ripoff of Fame (or worse, High School Musical). But now I’m hooked on it. Great show, full of wit, energy, and great characters. And the music, of course, is beyond amazing.

  • Nightingale-Duet says:

    For some reason or another I can’t get into Glee, even though everyone is telling me to watch it and it has to do with Broadway. Usually I’m a sucker for anything theatre-related, but I just can’t get into it. Maybe it’s because I hate to watch TV except for The Office. O.o

  • Three Reasons Why Glee Isn’t So Great:
    1. Bad lip-synching. You’d think 20+ years after Fame they’d be able to figure this out.
    2. Tired story lines. I really wish they would infuse some fun/edgy nip/tuck drama into rehashes of every soap opera plot that we’ve ever seen.
    3. Keeps its ethnic and gay characters in the chorus-line. As a black woman whose high school experience was pretty bleak until I discovered Thespians, I was a prime candidate to love this show, but they refuse to give any of the non-white characters a multi-show arc. And the one time they started to tackle this issue by dividing the choir up, they all ended up coming together in order to sing a white song to the pregnant white cheerleader as if their real issues of non-inclusion could be easily dismissed.
    I want to love this show so much for the three reasons you’ve listed but the writing and 2D ethic characters (seriously, I think the Asian chyck was only added to the cast to fulfill some kind of quota) has me ready to quit Glee (just like Rachel does every other episode) if they don’t fix these problems by the end of the season.

  • Will says:

    I agree 100% with your comments, particularly point #3.

  • Todd says:

    I also wanted to love this show, but I can’t. It’s just so slooooow. They need to: 1) dump all the home life stuff with Matthew Morrison’s character, 2) focus on the kids, and 3) cut it back to half an hour.
    Of course, similar to Nightingale-Duet, I find every TV show other than The Office to be slow and dull.

  • Majic says:

    The thing i hate the most is the horrible singing video match up, not only is it bad lip syncing, but when they have five kids singing, it sounds like a chorus of 20 people. I will continue to watch this show, but i really hope this problem changes.

  • sally says:

    i completeley disagree i watch glee all the time it is the best show ever i no that i am only young but i never watch anything else honestly.that best characters are puck finn quinn and rachel they are my fave. keep glee on tv, as there is loads of people out there like me that love glee and feel disapointed when people critise glee they are only young. every one has feelings so dont be mean to the kids.

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