April 2013


 

A friend and I went and saw the recent Off-Broadway revival of The Last 5 Years last week and I am still having all sorts of feelings days and days after the fact.

 

 

 

This was the first time I had ever seen the show before (I guess I should say “live” before… I have seen bootlegs of the Norbert Leo Butz/Sherie Rene Scott version from Chicago), but I was very familiar with its format and all the songs. I guess I thought I would be okay seeing the show since I knew what to expect. I wasn’t expecting to still be reeling a week later; angry at a fictional character for breaking my very real heart.

 

 

 

For those of you who have never heard of the show or have never seen the show, The Last 5 Years tells the story of Jamie and Kathy and their five year relationship. The catch is, the show is told from his point of view from the beginning to the end of their relationship and from her point of view from the end to the beginning of their relationship.

 

 

 

A two-person show, each character sings every other song with the exception three songs. Their only proper duet, “The Next Ten Minutes” is their engagement/wedding song – where their stories meet in the middle for one, blissfully happy and romantic number – only to be reminded moments later that he’s going to sing about the end of their relationship juxtaposed against her being super happy about falling in love. The finale, “Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You,” is an emotional punch to your heart because you’re watching her sing about how she can’t wait to see him again while he’s leaving his wedding ring on a table and walking out the door.

 

 

 

I know the songs of this show inside and out, but somehow seeing them  performed in a row on stage with actors putting themselves completely into those characters… I lost is couple times. I’m not a crier at many things, but tears fell during both “The Next Ten Minutes” and “Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You.” I cried during “The Next Ten Minutes” because the lyrics to that song are just so simple and honest. He’s asking her to share her life with him and she sings about wanting to be his wife and having his kids. And for a fraction of a second, you think they’re going to make it, only to remember that he leaves her in a few more songs.

 

 

 

And then the finale. Oh, that finale. I was just so… angry. I won’t spoil for you why he leaves, but as a woman, I’m on Kathy’s side of this scenario. That’s not to say I don’t fully disagree with some of the arguments that Jamie makes, but I walked out of that show firmly thinking that Jamie was a coward and how his actions were inexcusable.

 

 

 

It really makes you think, though… what if their roles were reversed? What if she was the one in the relationship with a successful career? What if she was the one to leave? What if it was told from the end of their story from his point of view as opposed to hers?

 

 

 

I am beyond grateful I got a chance to see this production. Though it was honestly one of the most gut-wrenching and painful (to the emotions) shows I’ve ever seen in my entire life, it was something I needed to witness firsthand. Jason Robert Brown’s lyrics are brilliant. Though my favorite song from the show (“I Could Be in Love With Someone Like You”) was actually replaced (with “Shiksa Goddess”) after the  Chicago show, I get why that was done. ICBILWSLY showed Jamie as too vulnerable of a character (the line “I don’t know what I’m doing, but come in and ruin me” will forever be my favorite line from any song of all time), while SG shows him to be more selfish (albeit in a joking, charming manner that we all fall for, but you know eventually that’ll turn sour…).

 

 

 

The Last 5 Years has been extended at the Second Stage Theatre in NYC through May 18th and I highly recommend it for people who are actively looking to feel emotionally conflicted.

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Real life prevented me from getting my “Lights Out” glee-cap up in a timely fashion. This was another episode that I don’t feel like I need to watch in full ever again, but at least it advanced a couple storylines (though at the same time, it also omitted a few as well… it’s frustrating when they put something in the promo and then edit it out of the full episode).

 

Spoilers ahead…

 

Ryder is still getting catfished. Of all the plot lines to drag out, I don’t see why this one is it. But, this plays a major part of the episode, so we’ll go with it.

 

In Glee club, Mr. Schue tells the kids that he went and spied on the Hoosier Daddies. (I lived in Bloomington, IN with my sister while she went to IU – Ryan Murphy’s alma mater – so I get it…) This glee club has a tiny huge powerhouse singer for their lead (American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez) and this makes Mr. Schue propose that his kids need to perform huge, as if they were in a stadium. Of course at this moment, the power goes out and Principal Figgins announces over the PA system that candles and flashlights would be handed out based on GPA. The glee club’s assignment for the week gets changed to “Unplugged” and a majority of the rest of the episode at McKinley is in the dark. (Thematically, I think this was too soon to have the Glee kids in the dark again just 2 episodes after the gun at school episode… but that’s just my opinion.)

 

In the (dark) hallways of McKinley, Jake and Ryder have a bro-discussion about Katie. Jake says Ryder doesn’t know her, but Ryder says that he does and that he’s told her his biggest secret. Jakes says he wants to know too, but Ryder balks. Remember – Ryder is pretty sure Katie is someone in the glee club because a phone rang in the choir room when he tried to call her during the shooting incident.

 

Meanwhile, in NYC, Rachel and Kurt have an intervention with Santana and tell her she’s throwing her life away. Tina gave them the heads up that Santana is a go-go girl at a lady bar and Hummelberry tell her that she needs to stop doing that and focus on her talent. Auntie Snix says she’s just trying to figure out her dream, so Kurt suggests dance lessons.

 

Back in Lima, the glee kids sit in the dark while Sam perches on a stool in front of the class and talks about Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” My ears perked up because 1. I know who Phil Spector is     2. I know what the Wall of Sound is   and  3. Sam playing a song solo and acoustically is the exact opposite of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, but I give Trouty Mouth an E for Effort.

 

Sam treats us to a little “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” with Ryder joining in mid-song. Artie’s on his phone during the entire number which tries to make you think that he is Ryder’s catfish, but really Artie is just too plugged in. He’s supposed to perform next, but claims he can’t sing his Miguel song because of his lack of synthesizers. Sam calls him – and everyone else – out for being on their phones all the time instead of in the moment. He calls them all sad and lame. (I took this as a direct smack in the face to the fans/today’s youth who spend all their time on their phones and computers instead of taking part in their own life. I know I’m guilty of it too, but I can shut down. I turn my phone off at night. I can make it through an entire movie or Broadway Show without taking out my phone in the middle of it to check my email or text someone.)

 

In NYC, Kurt is finally back at Vogue.com (where you BELONG, Kurt… you were meant to do great things with fashion) and we have the return of Isabelle – my second favorite adult character on Glee. (First will always be Burt Hummel… second used to be Coach Beiste, but not since she has a crush on Mr. Schue. Oy.) Isabelle is on the phone with Darren Arronofsky talking about Christopher Nolan and I roll my eyes while CrissColfer stans likely squealed in epic delight. She hangs up and asked Kurt about his dad (he’s doing well, thanks for asking!) and they talk about how Kurt hasn’t been around much since he started at NYADA. But, since Isabelle is awesome, she tells Kurt she prefers quality over quantity of work and says she’ll always support his dreams. (To which Kurt and the whole of the fandom said, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.”) Isabelle then asks Kurt to be a celebrity wrangler at a big ballet gala and says he can ask some of his friends to help (this is what we call “foreshadowing”).

 

No longer at McKinley, Sue Sylvester is now a “freelance champion” and is a personal trainer at a gym. She has a Sue90X class and we are treated to Blaine Anderson in a blank tank top and tight green booty shorts doing a full out workout. I’m sure there were other people in the scene, but all I have written in my notes are “THIGHS.” I did see the guy in front of Blaine give a smile in his direction, but Blainers was not impressed. After the class, Blaine tells Sue that his plan was to tear her down, but now he just wants to find out what happened. Coach Roz is telling the Cheerios a bunch of weird stuff and he wants to set the record straight on what went down causing Sue to get fired. He tells her that the team needs her – and they do. Coach Roz is a hot mess.

 

(Then there was a super short/unnecessary scene of Artie telling Sam that they don’t need electricity or instruments to make music.)

 

Back in NYC, Kurt tells his roommates that they are all volunteering at the NYC Ballet Gala. Rachel goes through some epic monologue that she started as a ballerina. Kurt pipes in that he too did ballet when he was three (awwww – cute little kid Kurt!), but then Santana said that she “Studied the timeless art of ‘crunk’.” (It is assumed – and mentioned in the episode – that all little girls… and Kurt, apparently… wanted to be ballerinas and/or took ballet. I had aspirations to take ballet when I was little, but ended up not taking lessons. Perhaps this is why I am about as graceful as Marla Hooch… but I digress.) Kurt and Rachel get Santana to agree to do when it is mentioned that they get to keep their couture outfits as a gift.

 

Once again in the choir room, the lights are still off and the mood is still down. Ryder, backed by some unplugged instrumentalists, dedicates a song to all of them and sings REM’s “Everybody Hurts.” There are flashbacks of Tina, Marley and Jake getting slushies and there are candles and it’s all a bit much. When the song finishes, Mr. Schue tells him it was amazing (which is a huge step up from how mean Mr. Schue was to everyone recently).

 

Then, Ryder tells the glee kids that he was molested by his baby sitter when he was 11. If that wasn’t already mortifying enough, Artie and Sam questioned why Ryder would be upset about something like this because it’s every guy’s dream to get with an older girl. Tina and Marley tell Sam and Artie they are not cool, but Mr. Schue does not reprimand them at all. (Ugh.) I was hoping at some point during the rest of the episode that Sam and/or Artie would apologize, but they didn’t…. Not cool, Glee writers. Not. Cool.

 

Kitty asked Ryder out to dinner, saying she broke up with Puck when he went off to college. She said she noticed Ryder being withdrawn and confided in him that she was molested in 6th grade by her friend’s older brother at a sleepover, but that she didn’t tell her parents right away. When she finally did speak up, her parents said the boy who did that was a good kid and they couldn’t believe he would do something like that, so she was exiled and switched schools. While this plot line humanized Kitty a lot more and made me more sympathetic toward her character, I thought these plot lines were out of left field and should have had some sort of message before the episode.

 

(Small tangent – while they did have a quick PSA about molestation after the episode, I was unaware that this was a plot line that Glee was going to have and wished they would have had a warning before the episode. Having gone through a similar situation, I was flummoxed not only by the topic being brought up, but by the utter insensitivity shown toward Ryder’s character by Artie and Sam, as well as the lack of discipline from Mr. Schue. When Glee decides to tackle “serious” topics, they either hit a home run or strike out. This, in my opinion, was a called third strike. The writers didn’t even bother to swing the bat. Instead of using this as an opportunity to support Ryder in his decision to share his big secret, they had two of his friends cluelessly congratulate him on being molested because it was awesome that an 11  year old kid got treated that way by an older girl. Yes, Tina and Marley called Artie and Sam out, but it would have been more powerful to have one of the male characters comfort him or call Artie and Sam out on their wrongful praise. I almost burst into tears at Artie and Sam’s reactions because one of the first people I told what happened to me, they laughed and it made me feel even more terrible about the situation. Granted every episode of this show can’t be written to avoid such triggery topics, but it would have been nice to see something as serious as this handled with a little more care. The Ryder/Kitty scene was great, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of apology from Artie and Sam.)

 

The next day, the glee kids performed “We Will Rock You” all Stomp-like on the stage. They were banging trashcan lids and dragging chains and using brooms to make music. Jake tapped and spun like he was in Broadway’s Newsies and it was entertaining, albeit a predictable number in this “unplugged” episode.

 

Outside, the Cheerios were having a pretty lackluster practice outside (Seriously – if the only Cheerios routine we see with Blaine is him clapping a couple pom poms together while sitting on the bleachers, that is a wasted opportunity, my friends.). Sue was watching from afar when Becky (sans Cheerios uniform and dressed exactly like Sue) walks up and tells her that she wants to quit Cheerios because of Coach Roz. Coach Roz refers to Becky as Baby Robin and seems convinced that Becky is actually Robin – Sue’s daughter. Sue’s quip “95 years I gave those girls,” was the best line of the scene before she launched into “Little Girls” from Annie. (I’m guessing this was because Jane Lynch will be appearing on Broadway soon as Miss Hannigan…). The number was all right, if you overlook the obvious lack of Ohio scenery behind them and that for the first time on the show, Blaine is lumped in with the “girls.”

 

Back in NYC, Kurt, Rachel and Santana are dressed to the nines at the Ballet Gala and are told that they can watch the show from the wings with Isabelle. (Can I work for Isabelle? She’s nice and there are amazing perks…) They all sing “At the Ballet” and if it weren’t for Naya’s voice, I would have put the song on mute. This number dragged on (flashbacks be damned) and I have a feeling its extended play is why we never got the Blaine/Sam/Becky confrontation scene that we were promised from the week prior’s promo.

 

After the longest Glee songs ever finally ended, Santana admits that she loves dancing but doesn’t know what to do. Isabelle tells her she has time to figure it out, but that she should do what she loves and feed her soul. She reminds everyone that baby steps are okay (thanks, Isabelle!).

 

The next day, Roz brings Becky to Figgins’s office and says that she is his problem. Becky misbehaved on purpose to get set to the principal because she didn’t think of just coming down to see him on her own accord. (Oh, Becky.) It is assumed she confesses that she was the one to bring the gun to school a few weeks ago, but this was not done on screen.

 

Power is finally restored to school – “it is a new dawn” – and Mr. Schue asks the New Directions to not plug back in quite yet. He suggests they sing a cappella (which one would assume everyone would turn to Blaine and say, “Teach us, oh great one of the two-stepping Stepford school of handsome boys,” but alas…). We don’t get another song right then and there, but the promise of New Directions making music with their mouths sometime soon.

 

Ryder still talks to Katie online (which, he is a surprisingly good speller when he types… I guess his dyslexia doesn’t apply to technology), but Kitty asks him out to lunch in real life. He said he would, but he’s still into Katie. (I don’t think Kitty is Katie anymore… I’m thinking Katie is Jake or Unique because both of them hang around Marley a lot and Katie used the phrase “it’s her truth” and Marley used a version of that phrase in this episode.)

 

A quick visit back to NYC finds Santana at a dance class that is a NYADA extension program. Santana sasses the teacher, but when she’s asked why she’s there, Santana answers honestly that she’s reintroducing herself to the art. After class, we see little Santana from earlier and she asks, “Don’t forget me again, okay?” The Santanas hug and hopefully this means Santana is on a path to fulfillment.

 

In the final performance of the show, the New Directions sing Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time” and though it is not as adorable as the version that multiple Barneys and Teds sang on HIMYM a few weeks ago, it’s still entertaining (because this song is flawless). When I wasn’t watching Blaine sing backing vocals in his yellow pants, my eyes scanned the screen for Bittany, Sugar and Joe… but found none of them. We know they’ll be in the finale (since we need them for Regionals!), but what is their excuse for missing a fair few episodes recently? Boo… I miss Sugar.

 

The highlight for my crowd of friends was definitely the promo for 4×21 – “Wonder-ful” – Glee’s Stevie Wonder episode (Puh-lease don’t mess up my jams, Glee… I haven’t listened to the songs yet, as I’m waiting for the episode to air, but these could either turn out amazing or an ear-sore.). Based off the promo – (SPOILER ALERT) – Kurt, Mercedes and Mike Chang are back. And Blaine and Burt have at least one scene and in said scene, Blaine says, “I would like to ask Kurt to marry me.” Hopefully Burt says, “Yeah, that’s nice. You two aren’t back together yet and you should probably wait a few years for the wedding, but when you’re ready, you already have my blessing because I still love you like a son, Blaine.” And then they hug… and I just really want some quality Blaine and Burt scenes, okay?

 

 

Thoughts on 4×20?

 

On Friday April 26th, I finally got a chance to see the current Broadway revivial of Jekyll & Hyde.

 

I have two very, very differing views of this show, so I will – in a sense – present to you my own two takes on this show.

 

  1. This show was all over the place

 

I have never seen a production of Jekyll & Hyde before but was very familiar with the story (remember Wishbone did an episode about it… “Mixed Breeds”… plus, I read the book when I was younger). I knew three of the songs going into the show, but not much else besides that.

 

As I sat down in my seat, my heart raced (for reasons that will be made clear during my second take on the show), and I was ready to fall in love with Broadway’s tale of the two sides of one man. Instead, I giggled my way through 2 ½ hours of awful plot and even more awful accents.

 

For those of you who don’t know the story of Jekyll & Hyde, it’s about this scientist (Dr. Jekyll) who seeks funding and a test subject for his experiment to separate a person’s good and evil. He goes to some rich people on a council for the funding and they shoot him down, saying he has no right to play God. As much as the snooty people are annoying, they are totally right. But, Dr. Jekyll decides to proceed with his experiment on his own. He uses himself to test his methods and he morphs into Mr. Hyde (a dangerous and violent person) where he (SPOILER ALERT) cheats on his fiancé with a prostitute and then murders a bunch of people.

 

Now, I am quite able to suspend disbelief when necessary, but I could not wrap my mind around the plot of this musical because of how wrong the male protagonist was to do the experiment in the first place. How am I to root for Dr. Jekyll when I am morally against his entire story line?

 

Even if I was able to look past the ridiculousness of the plot, I couldn’t get over the horrendous accents used by our leading man and his character’s fiancé. I heard English, Scottish, Irish and American accents poorly strung together like a crooked paper chain. The outcome resulted in serious lines being laughable because of the way words and phrases were being pronounced. It was distracting and took me out of the story, especially in the first Act. By Act II, I had almost acclimated myself to the accents and was able to keep a straight face for most of the second half of the show and could concentrate on the ludicrous plot.

 

The biggest strength of this show was the singing. I was very impressed with the presentation of the trifecta of songs I was familiar with (“This is the Moment,” “Someone Like You” and “In His Eyes”), but enjoyed the delivery of the other songs as well. Though the lyrics were not amazing, the emotion showed on stage during most of the numbers was impressive and powerful. Deborah Cox’s voice is a godsend and Constantine Maroulis is at his best when he’s allowed to rock out. (His Mr. Hyde numbers definitely out shown the Dr. Jekyll songs.)

 

I’m glad I saw the show, but that will be detailed in my second take of the show.

 

  1. I am still a lot in love with Constantine Maroulis.

 

A fan since his stint on American Idol eight years ago, I have been a lot in love with Constantine Maroulis. Every time he was on my television while on Idol, I would burst into a fit of giggles. He had that smolder and the hair and the… everything.

 

I was able to see him twice on the Rock of Ages tour, but when I heard he was going to be in Jekyll & Hyde, I knew I had to see the show because I had yet to experience seeing him on Broadway.

 

And so, I went to Jekyll & Hyde, ready to have my mind grapes blown. Though I laughed at his horrible accent throughout the show, I legitimately thought I was going to melt in my seat any time he turned into/was Mr. Hyde. Although I was deeply attracted to the ponytailed, glasses wearing Dr. Jekyll, it was Mr. Hyde’s hair tosses and overtly sexual and sensual actions that kept my heart racing. I mean – he was ALL over Deborah Cox. And though I was completely turned off by Mr. Hyde’s murderous streak, his animalistic tendencies were another story. As Hyde, Maroulis worked that stage like he owned it and he let loose with his power ballads and rock numbers. I didn’t expect the show to get so 80s hair band, but I went with it.

 

My favorite moment of the night, though, came after the show at the stage door. We got a chance to speak with some of the cast members who all seemed like nice people. It took Maroulis a little longer than the others to come out, and the anticipation almost gave me an anxiety attack.

This was MY moment. I had been waiting 8 years to meet Maroulis and I didn’t want to blow my one chance. So, while talking with my friend, I had the idea to ask Maroulis is he could take not one, but two pictures with me – one as Dr. Jekyll and one as Mr. Hyde. When I posed the question to Maroulis, he obliged my request and what resulted was the greatest picture set of all time.

 

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Myself and Constantine (Dr. Jekyll)

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Myself and Constantine (Mr. Hyde)

 

I normally wouldn’t post pictures of myself, but this was too good not to share. (He did the smolder in the Mr. Hyde picture… Luckily I didn’t know that until after the fact because I would have swooned right then and there. And, for the record, he did NOT choke me. His hands brushed against my coat but at no point did they touch my neck.)

 

So, for me, this encounter at the stage door was worth the entire price of admission. I don’t need to see the show again, but I will look back at these pictures and smile fondly at the opportunity to interact with someone I’ve admired for almost a decade.

 

 

This filler episode was definitely one I least enjoyed overall this season (which speaks volumes, because there have been more than several episodes this season that I thought were pretty Meh).

 

“Why do you continue to watch the show?” you ask.

 

Trust me, I ask myself this question all the time. If it weren’t for Darren Criss and those (usually) damn catchy covers, I would have stopped watching this show.

 

But, so long as Blaine Devon Anderson is still a character, I will watch. And I will continue to have delusionally high hopes that the next episode will get better and somehow recapture the magic that was The Pilot. I’m still waiting… and while I wait, I watch and take notes as I am underwhelmed by plot lines that the writers think we still care about.

 

Spoilers/Opinions ahead… ye be warned.

 

Glee already made us suffer through Gangnam Style earlier this season and then decided to throw in some Harlem Shuffle (Shake? Shuffle? Shake? I so was not hip to this fad earlier this year…) at us to show Finn enjoying his college life at The University of Lima (Which looked an awful lot like California… but production design, schmoduction design, am I right? *sigh*).

 

The episode started out VO heavy – Finn at college (wow, that application/acceptance process was fast…), Rachel in NYC (yapping on about her dream to be like Barbra and be the next Fanny Brice on Broadway in Funny Girl), and then later Marley talking about how she wants to be a singer-songwriter and perform her songs at Regionals. Blaine might have called himself “Honorary Rachel” later in the episode, but Marley (and her owl sweater) is a prime candidate as well. At least Marley is less annoying than Rachel… so, I can deal with this character shift.

 

Though there were five songs in the episode, the first half of the show was music-free. The writers used this time to give us plot. I’m one of those people who always begs for more plot but then gets disappointed when it’s Meh plot. (Shame on me, I know).

 

There was a lot of talk of the “fake school shooting” this episode and that made me a little weary. The person who seemed the most normally shaken up was Coach Beiste while everyone else kinda got weird. Tina started dressing Steampunk, Sam invented an Australian twin brother Evan Evans (Evan wore glasses… that is my biggest weakness.), Unique was taking birth control (I’m with Marley – I don’t think that’s healthy.), etc. Sue was gone (having taken the blame for Becky’s gun) and Roz was back to coach the Cheerios. And Will Schuester was back to being a douchebag.

 

Ugh. I liked it better when Will was off-screen in Washington DC fighting for the arts. He was doing much more for those glee kids not being on the show. Schue was nasty last night. He told them the theme for Regionals was “Dreams” and then gave them a list of songs with the word “Dream” in the title that they would be singing. Bor-ring. Marley Rose spoke up and said she wants to do original songs and he said NO. Will then restated that the New Directions were only going to Regionals on a technicality he thought that would shut them up.

 

It didn’t. Not really.

 

Blaine (“Honorary Rachel”) and the other glee kids held a secret glee club meeting to talk about how Mr. Schue’s songs were going to lose them Regionals. (He also pointed out they already sang “You Make My Dreams Come True” last season in a mash-up… We all remember that awesome moment of Hall & Oates gloriousness…). Marley presses for original songs, but is silenced by her peers.

 

Back at The U of L, Finn and Puck are running the place like they’ve been there for more than 5 minutes. (Yep – Puck is there. He’s not enrolled, but he’s there… and I’m glad Puck is there because I missed Puck. So, even with the crap plot, it was nice to see my favorite Puckerman again.) Will comes in while Finn is making grilled cheese with an iron and Puck is slip n’ sliding down the hallway. (Finn also acquired the bikini tops from two girls… I won’t even launch into my epic tirade about the objectification of women in a collegiate setting, but just know I have an entire monologue at my beck and call.) Will wants Finn to come back and to stop doing what he’s doing, but Finn says No and tells Mr. Schue that he can’t tell him what to do. Puck, on the other hand, is happier to see Mr. Schue and gives him a few hugs because Puck is precious and I wish he and Blaine had more screen time together last season because I could see Blaine, Sam and Puck (and Mike Chang too) hanging out and being besties – like, playing video games and dancing and stuff.

 

But I digress.

 

Back in Glee club, Blaine tells Mr. Schue that they have some alternative songs and Mr. Schue yells at Blainers and says he’s disappointed in him and says what he’s suggesting is unacceptable. (Mr. Schue also demeans Unique and her fake boobs after Unique hands a cutlet to Blaine and tells him he might need lady parts to confront their teacher.) So, after Mr. Schue bitches out all his kids, he tells them they have 5 minutes to get ready to rehearse his songs. After the leadership he showed last week during the shooting incident, this was an unwelcome return of the douchebag side of Will Schuester. No me gusta, Glee.

 

Then, in NYC, Rachel is practicing for her audition and Shelby (her birth mom, remember?) shows up. Apparently, Shelby lives in NYC now too (with Beth) and runs a Broadway daycare. Um… okay… and Shelby tells Rachel NOT to sing Babs at her audition. (Which, I agree with.) So, the mother/daughter pair sings “Next to Me” and I have never heard this song before ever and I kinda tuned out and wrapped my sister’s bachelorette party gift while they were singing. (#sorrynotsorry). I did take a time out from wrapping and managed to write “MEH” in my notes during this scene.

 

I wrote another “MEH” while Finn and Puck were singing “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!).” I like this song, but I just am so over the cliché of partying like an idiot during undergrad. And then when Puck and Finn (who are “apparently gay” since they were in glee club) got asked to be in a frat without having to pledge or anything, I’m like “really?”.

 

Back at McKinley, Marley asked Unique, Sam and Blaine to sing a song with her that she “wrote” after Mr. Schue yelled at all of them. Though riddled with cheesy lyrics, they sing “You Have More Friends Than You Know” and I couldn’t help but smile because it was nice to see the four of them sing together. The song was about self-acceptance and friendship (lines like “Who you are is okay” and “You’re not alone” [which was sung by Blaine… obviously], and “Those who love you the most may need more time to grow” were scattered throughout the song) and it was very fitting for these kids to be singing.

 

When they were done flawlessly sight reading Marley’s song, Blaine said that it was incredible and Sam asked if there were more songs. Blaine wants to tell everyone and Mr. Schue about Marley’s songs, but she says No because he already said he wasn’t interested in hearing ideas from them. BUT, Mr. Schue walked in on their performance, so he heard how “good” the song was and then how he was a crappy teacher (my words, not theirs).

 

Later, while Finn is contemplating hooking up his computer, he gets a call from Rachel. She’s not mad about what he did to Brody’s face, asks him how college is (she’s surprised to hear Puck is there) and then tells him she needs to ask him something. Without provocation, he remembers her Funny Girl audition (which, as much as I dislike Finchel as this point because I don’t care about Rachel in the slightest) and I’ll give that up as a sweet moment for Finchel fans because although Finn is an idiot, he knows what’s important to him in the long run. And apparently it’s Rachel. (Oy.) She asks for a song recommendation and he quickly tells her to sing something personal that defines her that will make the producers fall in love with her.

 

So, at the open audition/cattle call for Fanny Brice, Rachel sings “Don’t Stop Believing.” Though it’s a Rachel solo, she imagines Finn, Artie, Kurt, Tina and Mercedes are there (in their red outfits from the pilot) to back her up/sing with her. I liked the similar choreography and camera angles that were used in the pilot, but I didn’t really think this was wholly fitting of Rachel’s character. See – after she was done singing, the guy that played Weisel in the Newsies movie (yeah, you know it…) asked her what changed while she was singing. And she said that while she was singing, she thought about her friends believing in her.

 

Ugh.

 

Rachel Berry is so self-absorbed sometimes, you know? She always ends up getting whatever she wants (which in this episode, means a callback for Fanny Brice…) and always has her friends to boost her up. But what does she do for others? I mean… wasn’t Kurt supposed to have an audition too? (Remember – HE signed them both up.) But Rachel gets into NYADA with the help of her friends. She got Prom Queen because of her friends. She gets everything. It’s really tiresome watching her fail for two seconds, but then get handed the moon and whatever else she wants mere moments later.

 

Back in Lima, Puck wakes up Finn and scolds him for not going to class. I love that Puck has had pretty much the most character growth throughout this series. He gives Finn a lecture about how they are worth more than people say they are and that he is going to hang around and make sure Finn goes to class. I missed you, Puck.

 

At McKinley, Blaine and Becky are called into Coach Roz’s office where she says they are suspicious – especially Blaine (“Fruity Fonzie”). She says he’s never done a Cheerio routine, and somehow he’s a co-captain and that weeks after he gets that position, Sue is fired. Roz tells Blaine he used fruity voodoo and that he best not use that on her. She makes both Blaine and Becky repeat after her and we get one of the funnier moments of the night when both co-captains say “neeeeeeeeeever” just like Roz – with all that sass and attitude. (I’m sure there were great outtakes from this scene. But alas, Glee never gives us a Blooper Reel.)

 

Blaine notices that Becky gets skittish when the topic of Sue’s firing/the gun comes up and he questions her in the hallway. She tells him, “Mind your own gay business, gay Blaine” and it’s painfully obvious that other Cheerios and their coaches only identify him by his sexual preference. *sigh* For a show about inclusion, they really celebrate those characters who mostly spew negative dialogue.

 

Finn comes back to McKinley to say that he’ll work with Will again for college credit so long as he’s treated like an equal. And for those of you who cared about the Will/Finn friendship (I didn’t, but I’m sure there are people who do…) – they are back on. Will then walks into the choir room and starts complimenting the kids, giving him a deserved side-eye from Blainers who is still reeling about being yelled at several scenes ago. The glee instructor then prattles on about when he was in glee club and we get an exquisite close up of Jake Puckerman reacting to that scary picture of Mrs. Adler. (I actually laughed out loud. This was the one and only moment of the episode where that happened.)

 

Will then says he loves the kids and to show his love, he brings Finn back into the room and everyone applauds because having Finn back is basically like winning the lottery. Marley is then asked to share her original songs with everyone else and the room explodes again. (I would love to see those kids on Oprah’s Favorite Things episode.) Sam gets so excited he alternates between giving Blaine and Artie High 5s. On his second High 5 motion toward Blaine, Sam almost hit Blaine in the face. This was actually my #1 favorite moment of the episode. I hope it was an improv moment between the actors because it was such an adorable Blam moment and it was really fitting for their relationship (remember after “Heroes” when they both shoved each other in the head… this reminded me of that).

 

And then we had the scene where Rachel was bitching about not getting a callback call yet, but then she got the callback call. Kurt was in this scene and he was baking and eating cookies. I think the lack of Kurt in these past few episodes is going to be made up tenfold in the finale couple episodes… just sayin.

 

The final scene was all the New Directions kids singing some song called “Outcasts” (I think.) It was okay with cheeseball lyrics. (That was verbatim what I wrote in my notes.)

 

And then the show was over and I was relived. Mark this one down as another episode I’ll never have to watch all the way through ever again.

 

The promo was actually the highlight of the night. I (as well as the rest of the Internet) was NOT expecting to see Blaine in short green shorts, black leggings and a black tank top jazzercising in Sue’s class. He also interrogates Becky about the gun thing, but I’m pretty sure all that mattered in that 30 second clip (which also featured the NYC gang and a power outage at McKinley) was Blaine in that outfit. Ryan Murphy is apparently a bigger Darren/Blaine Stan than the whole of the fandom. The odds were ever in our favor when that kid was cast…

 

Thoughts? 

I have a migraine.

Or, I guess I should say I had one… or I might still have one and the effects of the medicine I took are just so overwhelming that I’m focused on my other problem so much now that I can’t feel the pain.

I am immune to most over-the-counter pain medication. I hurt myself really bad during the summer between middle school and high school and took waaaaaaaaaaaay more OTC pain meds than any one person should take. (Super long story short, I had a neck/back injury and between 5 hours of summer school gym a day and being forced to pitch multiple softball games per night each week for 3 weeks straight, I was taking thousands of mgs of pain pills  a day.  This was not healthy by any means and luckily I didn’t suffer any side effects from it, but it made me realize that even at such high dosages, OTC meds don’t really work well for me.)

So, when I got my first migraine at the beginning of this year, I was desperate for relief and ended up getting some Excederin specifically for this type of ailment.

And boy, does that stuff work. 

It works too well, I’d say.

I found that if I take the recommended dosage that the pain in my head greatly subsides… however, my heart then starts to race because of all the caffeine and it makes me jumpy/feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest.

That’s where I’m at right now. 

I feel like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction where she gets that needle to her chest. I feel like that guy in Alien when the baby alien pops out of his chest. I feel very, very out of it. But I guess being super jumpy and on the verge of exploding is slightly better than the steady stream of tears I had going earlier from the epic amount of pain I was in.

It’s days like these I wish I had a job that allowed paid sick days so I could have stayed in bed with all the lights off. But, I can’t afford to miss work, so I’m typing this from my office and counting down the minutes until I can go home (well, not go home… I have a couple errands I need to run before I can crawl back into my bed). 

When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with depression. I thought that was an overstatement at the time… I don’t think I was depressed then, just super stressed out. I’d like to think that’s what’s happening now. I don’t think I’m depressed, just super stressed out. (I haven’t seen my family in months. I’m always worried about money. I don’t think I see my friends enough but there just never seems to be time to do everything I need/want to do and try to have a social life, etc…). These problems are not unique to me, nor do I pretend they are. I feel a lot of my peers are in the same boat. Is this what being an adult is all about?

On my walk to the train this morning, I was walking behind a mother and daughter. I thought to myself, “Man, I barely have a handle on my own life. Even if I wanted kids, there is no way in hell I am capable of taking care of another person right now in the state I’m in.”  And then I think to how my mom and dad got married and had three kids all by the age of 26 and I feel like I did something wrong. But, I know that my generation is different than their generation and I shouldn’t be comparing myself to them…

… but then I start comparing myself to my siblings (younger brother got married last year and my older sister is getting married next month) and I still feel like crap because I’m not fitting into some sort of mold that doesn’t actually exist.

(See what happens when you are hopped up on caffeine?)

In all honesty, I’m fairly sure the good things in my life are outweighing the bad, but it’s just so easy to let the bad stuff overtake you. I try really, really hard not to let it get to me… but sometimes it’s difficult not to let it creep under your skin.

Like, yesterday I got bitched out by someone at work. Or this morning – I found out I made a tiny mistake on someone’s business cards and didn’t catch it before it got sent to print. That, on top of the migraine, made me want to just call it quits and head home. But, I can’t… so here I type.

This weekend I get to see my siblings. I cannot properly put into words how much I am looking forward to this. I really need a hug from my parents, but hugs from people who have shared DNA will be 100% welcome. 

My god, I am so jumpy right now!

But I’m tired too. See – that’s the weird/terrible thing. 

I am sooooooo tired.

I don’t sleep well. I haven’t slept well since high school. I wouldn’t call what I have right now insomnia, per se, but it’s not great. Like, last night I got maybe 4 hours of sleep. FOUR! And I feel exhausted all the time, but I can’t sleep. I definitely wouldn’t be able to sleep right now (even though I really want to) because my heart is RACING! 

(I don’t drink coffee – never have and likely never will – but is this how people get when they have that much caffeine in their system? It’s horrible… why would you want to feel like this all the time?)

I wonder when the medicine is going to wear off. I pray that when it does the migraine is gone because there is no way in hell I can put my heart through this again today (Nor will I… I am not feeling this jumpy tonight when I need to get sleep. No way, no how.).

 

So yeah… this has been a post written by someone who should never, ever have this much caffeine in her system ever again.

 

So, yeah… Glee got a little lot intense last night. This is going to be a weird recap, as there were only 3 songs and I thought this episode had some of the best and worst moments in Glee’s history.

 

As you probably know by now, the show revolved around (SPOILERS) gun shots being fired off at school and the over-arching theme of “tell those you love that you love them because time is running out.”

 

 

This is going to be jumbled – much like my feels during the show – so here we go…

 

 (SPOILERS)

Songs:

 

Your Song – Ryder

 

Ryder’s catfish plot is still unresolved and I’m over it as much as the rest of you. He thought he saw Katie in the hallway, so he took her to the choir room and sang Your Song to her. If you’re like me, you thought he did an okay job but wished the writers would have allotted this epic romantic ballad to Blaine for Kurt in some future episode. But, what’s done is done.

 

After the song, the girl was like, “my name’s not Katie – I’m Marissa” and whoever this Katie person is has used Marissa’s face for all prior acts of communication. Ryder is livid and thinks Jake or Marley is Katie and their doing it on purpose to make him look like an idiot as revenge for liking Marley.

The camera angles and jarred camera movements, I was worried for a half a second they were setting Ryder up to be the one with the gun. He was upset, but didn’t seem upset enough to shoot/hurt someone or himself. Luckily, when the gun went off, he was in the choir room with most of the rest of the New Directions. During the crisis, he called Katie and a phone inside the choir room rang and rang, but it was in a backpack, so we don’t know whose it is. I’m betting it’s Jake or Unique. (Kitty said it wasn’t her.)

 

Near the end of the episode, Ryder was supposed to meet Katie outside the choir room at 3:30 but she never showed up. He looked angsty and ran off to the auditorium to join the rest of the New Directions for their final song.

 

 

More Than Words – Sam, Brittany and New Directions

 

Brittany started off the episode by saying an asteroid/meteor/comet/whatever was headed their way and that they should all be preparing for only having a few days left. Everyone (but Sam) groaned and they brought up how she said pretty much the same thing at Christmas.

 

But, since Mr. Schue placates horrible plot points, he makes their Glee assignment “Last Chances” so you can say what you want to say to the people you love because any moment it could be your last.

 

Brit takes this seriously and wants to make amends with Lord Tubbington. Sam is a little perturbed that Brit would rather profess her love to a cat than him, but he’s the best BF ever and tells her she should bring her cat to school so they could all sing to it.

 

And so Sam, Brit and the New Directions sing “More Than Words” and everyone is like WTF when Brit sings to the cat instead of Sam. (Did you see Blaine turn around and look at his forlorn bff? I did…)

 

During the gun shot crisis, Brittany is not in the choir room with everyone else and Sam gets worried. REAL worried… to the point where he makes several attempts to leave the room and find Brittany. It was really heartbreaking when Coach Beiste and Mr. Schue had to physically restrain Sam and make him sit on the floor near Artie and Blaine.

 

Brittany was safe during the crisis – she was hiding in a bathroom stall. Heather Morris’s performance in this scene was tied for most gut wrenchingly sad moment of the night. My mouth just kind of hung open in horror as she stood on the toilet seat, silently crying. That was really profound and was one of the best (if not most dramatic) moments in Glee history.

 

Mr. Schue found Brittany and two other students in the bathroom and lead them back to the choir room. Sam and Brit were reunited and later in the episode they told each other they loved each other and Sam got her another cat – Lady Tubbington.

 

 

Say – Blaine, Ryder and New Directions

 

 At the end of the episode, the New Directions gathered on the stage to sing this super sad and poignant John Mayer song. It literally hammers home the theme of saying what you mean to say to people before it’s too late. The message is strong and it was an appropriate ending for the show. New Directions group numbers have been some of the strongest performances of the season and this was no exception.

 

Worst moments from the episode:

 

The scene between Coach Beiste and Mr. Schue in the locker room.

 

I love the two of them as friends, but I don’t get how they can write her character being in love with him when she’s been so happy for/supporting of him and Emma in previous episodes. There are lot more awful things I could say about this, but I don’t have the time or patience to write them right now.

 

 

Becky’s Got a Gun

 

So, it was obvious when Sue confessed to it being her gun that she was covering for someone. And that someone was Becky… who brought her father’s loaded gun to school.

 

I’m surprised there wasn’t a PSA about how you shouldn’t keep a loaded gun in the house – especially one that is accessible to children. I’m less shocked, though still annoyed, that there was no consequences for Becky for having the gun. Are we just supposed to forgive that character for her accidental wrong doing because of her Down Syndrome? Are we supposed to brush this off like “oh, maybe she didn’t know better”? Is everything now going to be okay and just go back to normal because it was all just a big misunderstanding?

 

Accident or not, there were lessons to be learned from Becky bringing a loaded gun to school. Glee gets preachy about a lot of stuff, but somehow managed to overlook the bigger issue of why Becky felt a gun was the only way to protect herself from the future.

 

Also, I didn’t care for Sue’s “I did all this great stuff but I’ll only be remembered for this” speech. If you’re so worried about your reputation, then don’t take the fall for Becky. * shrug *

 

 

Brittany’s Comet

 

I’m sad they made Brittany say the dumbest things on this show. She used to just have witty one-liners… but when they write epic monologues about dumb things, I tune out and wish she would go back to being the quiet one who just dances really well.

 

 

Blina

 

I get that Blaine was worried about Tina and Tina was worried about Blaine because they were apart during the incident. But, their scene in the hallway was actually a bit of a turn off for me. Is Blaine Tina’s only friend in the glee club? And while I get that friends are touchy-feely like that – especially after something traumatic – but Blina gets more physical contact at school than Klaine did while they were dating. Someone who tuned into last night’s show probably thinks that Blaine and Tina are together. And while I am well aware that Klaine was not a story line during last night’s show (nor should it have been… I was thankful NYC was not part of the episode and that Kurt was not mentioned once), I think that they’re turning Blaine into a more

 

 

The best moments from the episode:

 

The entire gunshot sequence in the choir room and bathroom.

 

This was the most impressed I’ve been by dramatic performances from the cast during the entire run of the series. While everyone brought something to the table, I was most affected by Heather Morris, Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss.

 

Heather Morris – My heart broke more and more with each passing second that Brittany stood on top of that toilet and silently cried. When another gunshot went off and she ducked a bit with fear before crying some more… my mouth was literally just hanging open. At this point, you weren’t aware that there were two other students in other stalls, so you just thought Brittany was alone. It was terrifying and HeMo really brought it.

 

Chord Overstreet – Sam could not stay put because Brittany wasn’t there and he was scared for her safety. Sam is easily one of the most selfless and caring characters on the show and when you see him upset, it’s more upsetting because you know he blames himself for not being able to help someone else. It was really intense when Sam tried to break out of Coach Beiste and Mr. Schue’s hold to leave the choir room to get to Brittany. Arms were flailing and tears were flowing. This was one of the least vain sequences in Glee and I’m grateful the actors were willing and able to get there.

 

Darren Criss – I freely admit to being 100% biased and focusing on him during group scenes. (Full disclosure – he is the #1 reason why I still watch the show.) But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know when he’s giving a good or bad performance. (Because trust me, not all his moments on Glee have been his finest work…) However, I was wholly impressed by his ability to play small moments with little/no dialogue. Darren’s face is very expressive, but he is able to use body language to let audiences completely understand what’s going on in Blaine’s mind. Blaine physically closed in on himself last night – arms were crossed, knees were clutched, head was down. When his face crumbled, I got sad. When his eyes plead for others to stop as his small voice begged for a phone to be shut off, or when he tearfully said hello to his mom over the phone once everyone was given the all clear, I just wanted to reach through the TV and give the kid a hug. We were also blessed with some small Blam moments – their friendship is my favorite on the show and I’m grateful when we are reminded of how much they care for each other and lookout for each other.

 

 

This was definitely not my favorite episode of Glee, nor will I ever actively watch the whole episode ever again. I was impressed with the drama of the choir room scene, but was not a huge fan of the more “lighthearted” stuff during the episode (and I’m over the catfish plot… just sayin).

 

It’s a show called “glee,” but if they are willing to make the audience terrified and give us high drama, at least have the decency to just commit to the high drama. The Glee writers are not quite capable of what the HIMYM writers can do – they can do high comedy and high drama well in one episode. Glee cannot.

 

Last night was one of those magical NYC nights when I could forget about my woes for a couple hours and live out one of my life-long dreams of seeing Alec Baldwin on Broadway.

Those who know me best know that I have loved Alec Baldwin for a majority of my life. Ever since I was a little girl and I saw Beetlejuice, I was hooked. As I grew older, my love for Baldwin increased tenfold, with his hosting appearances on SNL, his role on 30 Rock and his performance in The Departed solidifying my epic love of this man.

Last night, I was fortunate enough to get a rush ticket for Orphans. 

I purposefully didn’t do any research on the play and didn’t read any reviews so I could go in fresh and a blank slate. 

That being said, I had unfairly high expectations because of my love of Alec Baldwin (and Ben Foster… jfc, I could write an Ode to Foster, whom I have been an epic fan of since Liberty Heights… do not even get me started how underused he was in X-Men: The Last Stand), but I was not disappointed.

Orphans is about two brothers, Treat (Foster) and Phillip (Tom Sturridge) who live alone and try to make ends meet. Treat is a petty thief and mugs people of their money and accessories to support his younger brother Phillip, who is a smart kid but has some sort of mental disorder. Phillip’s got a childlike nature about him and is quick to follow others, but is also capable of independent thought and action/reaction when given a chance.

One night, Harold (Baldwin) follows Treat home and passes out drunk. Treat discovers Harold has money and tries to use that wealth to get a ransom from his colleagues… but no one cares enough about Harold to pay it. 

Instead, Harold offers Treat a job working for him. Treat balks, saying he doesn’t work for anyone – let alone Harold (who keeps referring to Treat as “son”), but eventually he caves.

This play was really dark – both in comedic and dramatic aspects. The relationships between pairs of characters, as well as the surrogate father/sons aspect of the play were really fascinating.

It’s always intriguing to watch a pair or small group of men onstage because females (or lack thereof) still makes a huge impact on the story. (Treat and Phillip’s mom was dead, though her coats still hung in their front closet whereas Harold mentioned a woman back in Chicago.) There were a few “what would you do” and “you need to address your feelings” moments in the play that allowed Foster to shine on stage. I don’t know if I felt more moved by his performance because it was him or because of the arc his character had. It’s powerful watching someone descend into a completely broken state of vulnerability. 

I was not very familiar with Tom Sturridge (though reading through his bio, apparently I’ve seen a lot of his film work…), but I was equally impressed with his performance. He had the most physical role of anyone, as Phillip was often leaping onto furniture or the banister. He would crouch down to occupy a small amount of space or stretch out like a cat. He used his hands and fingers to imitate other people’s gestures and would change his voice to mimic those on TV or pretend he was someone else. (For some reason, he reminded me a lot of Andrew Garfield… )

And, of course, Baldwin. He seemed well suited for his role – very authoritative, but almost patronizingly so. He used his booming voice and firm demeanor to get what he wanted and charm Phillip. I was enamored right away (like Phillip) and could have used some “encouragement” but by the end of the show, I was more concerned with Treat than anyone else. 

This was a mind fuck of a play (pardon my French). It really had you all over the place, emotions-wise, but hit you in the feels more often than not. I didn’t cry (probably because I was still in shock from being in the same room as/seeing Alec Baldwin and Ben Foster), but  I definitely felt something as I was watching.

I was grateful for the opportunity to see this play and I will definitely be mulling over its meaning and themes. 

After the show, I went to the stagedoor. I was fortunate enough to be the first one there, so I got a good spot up front at the barricades. (Insert your own Les Mis joke in there if you must…) Though Ben Foster did not sign for anyone (sadness!), Alec Baldwin signed for some people… and I was lucky enough to get an autograph for myself and my sister (I was going to surprise her, but I already told her… we love Alec). 

I then escaped from the barricades and started walking toward the train, taking Shubert Alley as a shortcut when I saw a mass of people waiting outside the Booth for Bette Midler. So, I had some time – I joined them.

While waiting for Bette, JOE MANTELLO walked by me. (He directed Wicked, Assassins, Glengarry Glenn Ross, 9 to 5, The Other Place, Three Days of Rain, etc…) I almost shrieked – that’s how excited I was. But, I kept my cool (you don’t know how hard that was). And, then a few minutes later, Bette came out. I didn’t see her show, but I took a picture of her (she signed for a few people, but I was nowhere near her), but it was just really cool to see her in person!

And that was my night!

It’s little pockets of excitement like that that makes me love living here. I love live theater with every fiber of my being and I genuinely love and respect the craft of the people who make it. 

*sigh*

(Oh – I also saw Joy Behar in person yesterday and ended up walking next to her for a block while I was on my way up Broadway. She seemed nice – someone else recognized her too and said Hi – but I didn’t say anything.)

P.S. I guess I should address the whole Shia LaBeouf thing. Honestly, I couldn’t see him as Treat and was grateful the part was recast. Ben Foster was PERFECT for that role and has more of an older brotherly feel than I don’t think LaBeouf would have been able to pull off within the context of this play. That’s not to say he wouldn’t have been able to contribute something of value… I just think that Foster’s presence was a necessary part of why this play worked as well as it did.

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