The cast members of the hit show Glee perform at...

The cast members of the hit show Glee perform at the Nassau Coliseum in the first of two shows Saturday. Lea Michele waves to the crowd. (June 18, 2011) Credit: Craig Ruttle

"Glee Live!" isn't your normal concert.

Sure, there's plenty of singing and dancing, with probably the fastest-paced concert of the year. However, it's also an extension of the Fox TV show, which includes everyone remaining in character and the need for more than a little suspension of disbelief.

Of course, that's a pretty small price to pay for packing so much esteem-building fun and megastar talent into 90 minutes.

In that short time, at the first of two shows Saturday at Nassau Coliseum, Rachel (Lea Michele) delivered two showstoppers -- outsinging Katy Perry on "Firework" and challenging Barbra Streisand on "Don't Rain on My Parade."

Brittany (Heather Morris) showed off better dance moves during "I'm a Slave 4 U" than Britney Spears has in years. And The Warblers, led by Blaine (Darren Criss) could be a real touring act all on their own, easily moving from Wings' "Silly Love Songs" to Pink's "Raise Your Glass."

The show has come quite far since last year's limited tour.

This time out, there are fireworks, two stages, a huge dance troupe and 24 talented singers, counting The Warblers. But they still keep up the story line.

In one of the concert's many half-fictions, Kurt (Chris Colfer) alluded to the gay marriage bill that recently passed the New York State Assembly to build up to a proposal to Blaine -- only to ask him to join the "Glee" club.

In another blurring of the reality lines Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), declared, "It's so good to be home!" and received a huge ovation from her Strong Island fans, even though it's actually Ushkowitz who hails from East Meadow.

But why quibble? The "Glee" hybrid world generates so much wholesome joy and effortlessly promotes self-acceptance. There really is a method to this good-time madness.

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