It seemed like they came out of nowhere, this tall, lanky high school teacher and the razor-tongued athletic coach determined to be his nemesis. If they’d been major players (or even minor ones) on earlier TV shows, I’d obviously missed those series. And even after Glee made its auspicious and, yes, spectacular debut as a test pilot, no one ever said, “Oh you know him, he’s the guy from Law & Criminals: Baltimore.” Or anything even remotely like that. We saw him in action. Then we saw her in action. And then we went wow! — who are these people?
Apparently we were looking for answers in all the wrong places. We should have been looking to Broadway. Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester, the Spanish teacher who decides to try to resuscitate the high school glee club, is an accomplished song and dance man who co-starred in the sensational still-running Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific, nightly revisiting such Rodgers & Hammerstein classics as I Have Dreamed and Carefully Taught.
And when he isn’t playing the beleaguered high school teacher in the runaway hit of this TV season, he’s working with his South Pacific director Bartlett Sher on developing a musical version of Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
We sure knew he could sing and dance, however — and stay in character — after we saw him ‘teach’ his irresistible Glee club misfits how to sell a song. (Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Just click here.)
As for the outrageously funny Jane Lynch — frankly, and i mean candidly: Where Have I Been? She’s been a popular recurring multi-episode player on such long-running hit series as Boston Legal, Criminal Minds, The ‘L’ Word and Two And A Half Men. Comedy
aficonados will tell you in a heartbeat that she performed all her own singing and guitar playing in A Mighty Wind, and that she made them scream with laughter when she appeared with Steve Carrell in his breakthrough film The 40 Year Old Virgin. (Morrison also has on-screen history with Carrell. He played the cop that wouldn’t get off his case in Dan In Real Life.) What many of her fans don’t realize, however, is that Lynch is currently on screen with Meryl Streep, playing the small but key role of Julia Child‘s sister in Julie & Julia. And that she opens off-Broadway with Tyne Daly tonight — yes, tonight — as part of the rotating all-female cast of the new Nora & Delia Ephron opus, Love, Loss And What I Wore. So she continues in very good company, on stage and screens.
So does Glee. Two weeks ago, barely into the run of the series, Glee cast recordings accounted for 10 spots on the iTunes list of top 200 downloaded songs and four places on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week. The top-selling Glee cast recordings included two mash-ups created for the series — one of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” and Usher’s “Confessions Part II,” and the other of Beyoncé’s “Halo” and “Walking on Sunshine,” by Katrina and the Waves. And more sales are in the offing. On Nov. 3 Columbia Records and 20th Century Fox Television will release Glee: The Music, Volume 1, the first in what is planned as a series of soundtrack albums. And last week the Fox series made more headlines when NBC reneged on its invitation to have the Glee cast perform during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which it broadcasts. So now the Glee cast will perform during the World Series, singing the national anthem in either Los Angeles or Philadelphia, depending on the outcome of the playoffs, during game three of the series, which is telecast by Fox.
Still wondering what all the fuss is about? To catch up with the pilot that started it all, just click here. To catch a new episode, tune in tonight at 9 pm to Fox or Global. And enjoy!
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I LOVE Glee. Sheer delight.
Thank you for this backgrounder.
Anytime you want to tell me more about The Good Wife (my favourite new drama), please do