At the core of the TV sensation “Glee” is the battle between sweetness and snark, the ability to remain sunny when someone rains on your parade.
What makes the soundtracks so successful – “Vol. 3, The Showstoppers” this week became the cast’s second No. 1 album in the past two months – and this limited concert tour, which wraps up with four more sold-out shows today and tomorrow and Radio City Music Hall, so powerful is that, under those conditions, there’s no contest. Sweetness wins.
Sure, the 75-minute concert started with video of the show’s Sue Sylvester, played by the magnificent Jane Lynch, directing her Cheerios to hand out air sickness bags to the audience, saying, “This show is that bad. You will be barfing, trust me.”
But that negativity is quickly overwhelmed by the cast of “Glee” each getting their moment to shine during the brilliantly re-arranged “Don’t Stop Believin’.” After all, the cast has Lea Michele on its side and, yes, her voice is even more stunning live than it is as Rachel on the show. When Michele belts out “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” while rushing down the aisles of Radio City, or teams with Chris Colfer (Kurt) on “Defying Gravity” or Cory Montieth (Finn) on “Somebody to Love,” she is undeniable.
Amber Riley (Mercedes) was nearly as potent, giving Christina Aguilera a run for her money on “Beautiful,” while Mark Salling (Puck) showed some star power of his own during “Lady Is a Tramp” and East Meadow native Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) offered an emotional, show-stopping take on “True Colors.”
The rapid-fire pace of the routines from the show could satisfy even the shortest attention span and for true Gleeks, there’s even a sneak preview of the upcoming finale, where the cast takes on a medley of Journey songs.
The biggest surprise of the evening, though, was the live appearance of Lynch and Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester) – who performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Salling – before the encore. The roar for them was so loud and heartfelt, Lynch could barely hold back a smile. She managed to sneer, “Why are you people still here?” but she knew why. Sometimes, it’s nice to see the good guys win.
SETLIST: Don't Stop Believin’ / My Life Would Suck Without You / Push It / Don't Rain on My Parade / Beautiful / Sweet Caroline / The Boy Is Mine / Lady Is A Tramp / Defying Gravity / Bust Your Windows / Bad Romance / Dancing With Myself / It's My Life/Confessions Part II / Halo/Walking On Sunshine / Rehab (Vocal Adrenaline) / Mercy (Vocal Adrenaline) / Jump / Faithfully/Any Way You Want It/Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ / Like A Prayer // ENCORE: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (with Matthew Morrison) / True Colors / Somebody To Love
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