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LI native, 'Glee' star's dream comes true

Actress Jenna Ushkowitz arrives at the 2010 Teen

Actress Jenna Ushkowitz arrives at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif. (Aug. 8, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Jenna Ushkowitz wants to warn everyone ahead of time.

"I might cry," said the East Meadow native who now stars on "Glee" as Tina Cohen-Chang, thinking about how she will react to performing for the first time on the same Nassau Coliseum stage where she saw Britney Spears and 'N Sync when she was growing up.

"It's going to be very sentimental to play where I'm from and mean so much to me to play where my friends and family can see me," Ushkowitz said, calling from a tour stop in Boston. "When I saw Britney perform at Nassau Coliseum, I knew that's what I wanted to do and I never thought I would get there. To be able to do that -- it's gonna be overwhelming in the best way possible."

Have you been able to absorb what's happened to you in the past two years?

I've tried. (Laughs.) Everything is a day at a time for us. Everything is changing so fast and we're experiencing things that we never thought in our lives that we'd be able to do. Sometimes I just look around and think, "This is absolutely crazy." I'm so grateful and I look at all my co-stars and I know how hard we've worked to get where we are. To live that dream now, it's amazing.

What's your favorite part of the live show? Is it "Dog Days Are Over"?

"Dog Days" is one of the opening numbers, so it's really cool to start that way, especially because I get to sing with Amber , who's brilliant. It's a really fast show for me because towards the end, I'm in number after number and that's really fun.

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Are you happy where Tina is on the show?

I would like for her to get a dream sequence of some sort. She's never had one power number. . . . I love her relationship with Mike Chang, but I don't know if they're gonna be together next year. Since Artie and Brittany are now broken up, I don't know if he'll try to get back with Tina. Some conversations about that between those characters would be fun. Anything is possible.

WHAT Glee Live! In Concert

WHEN | WHERE 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nassau Coliseum

INFO $48-$88; 800-745- 3000,


What critics say


The show would be completely ridiculous if it weren't for one thing. It's fun. Really, really fun. Like the joy of belting along with the radio multiplied by a thousand."

-- Jessica Goldstein, Washington Post

The performers clearly knew their audience. With be-yourself anthems aplenty, they reached out and seemed to give a voice to teenagers learning to use theirs. If there was confetti involved, all the better. The adults would clean it up."

-- Marc Hirsh, Boston Globe

The early emergence of cheerleaders, who handed out airsickness bags to reinforce some narrative shtick, caused a frenzy in the aisles. But aside from a few dance routines, 'Glee Live!' offered little worth shouting about."

-- Bob Gendron, Chicago Tribune




According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, here's what the cast played in Minneapolis earlier this month:

"Don't Stop Believin' "

"Dog Days Are Over" (featuring Amber Riley and Jenna Ushkowitz)


"I'm a Slave 4 U" (featuring Heather Morris)

"Fat Bottomed Girls" (featuring Mark Salling and Ashley Fink)

"I Want To Hold Your Hand" (featuring Chris Colfer)

"Ain't No Way" (featuring Riley)

"PYT" (feat. Kevin McHale)

"Born This Way"

"Firework" (featuring Lea Michele)

Warblers set: "Teenage Dream" / "Silly Love Songs" / "Raise Your Glass" (feat. Darren Criss)

"Happy Days Are Here Again" / "Get Happy" (featuring Michele and Colfer)

"Lucky" (featuring Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet)

"Jessie's Girl" (featuring Cory Monteith)

"Valerie" (featuring Rivera)

"Loser Like Me"


"Single Ladies" (featuring Colfer)


"Safety Dance" (featuring McHale)

"Empire State of Mind"

"Somebody to Love"

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