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.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.