What's the best way to spend Memorial Day weekend? At Radio City Musical Hall, of course! This Sunday, DS editor in chief Kate Lydon and I were super lucky because we got tickets to the Glee Live! tour here in NYC. A huge shout out (and giant THANK YOU) to Heather Morris, our May/June cover girl, who hooked us up with incredible seats (and backstage passes!).
The day got off to a great start when I was waiting outside Radio City and bumped into Jon Chu, creator of The LXD (The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) and the director of Step Up 3D. He was rocking an LXD T-shirt and hat (Note to self: Purchase immediately) and I let him know that we're all so excited about The LXD's success. The group's web series premieres soon, so stayed tuned to thelxd.com for more info, and click here to read all about The LXD in Dance Spirit.
Once we got inside the theater, the energy was electric (no surprise there—the show sold out in a matter of minutes and everyone was crazy excited to be there). We took our seats—about 12 rows back from the stage, not bad!—and soon thereafter The LXD took the stage. Everything about the performance was phenomenal. I loved that they utilized the giant video screens on both sides of the stage by showing pre-taped dance footage that complemented what was happening onstage.
Crowd favorites Madd Chadd and Harry Shum Jr. (who plays Mike Chang, AKA "Other Asian" on "Glee") were equally impressive in their solos. Madd Chadd with his incredible popping and locking (Seriously, HOW does he do that?) and Harry with his quirky routine to a mashup of songs including Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." He's got stellar stage presence, to say the least. The audience ate him right up. The LXD wrapped up the opening act with the beautiful piece previously seen on "So You Think You Can Dance." Dancing to Vitamin String Quartet's rendition of "Yellow," the dancers perform a medley of tricks, flips and hip-hop based moves fluidly and smoothly. It truly is dancing at its best. I was sad to see the opening act end (I gave them a standing ovation, naturally) but SO excited to get my Glee on!
After a painfully long intermission, it was time for New Directions to take the stage. Adorable Cheerios mingled in the audience before the show began. We spotted Courtney Galiano and Janette Manrara of "SYTYCD" fame decked out in the cheerleader uniforms and posing for pictures with adoring fans.
The show opened with "Don't Stop Believin'" and included all the best tunes from Season 1 of "Glee," from the crowd-pleasing uppity jams ("Somebody to Love" and "My Life Would Suck Without You") to the emotional medleys ("Defying Gravity") to the outrageous ("Bad Romance"). But amidst all of the amazing singing from the ridiculously talented cast, there was one star: Heather Morris. Seriously, the girl WORKED IT from start to finish. She danced in nearly every number (Also of note: the show included the most rapid-fire quick changes I've ever witnessed) and was front and center the entire time. During "Bust Your Windows" I was dying to put on my own dance shoes and get up there with her! She's the total package and we're so excited to have her on the cover of DS this month. And did I mention that, in addition to being funny, pretty, smart and talented, she's also really really nice?
Heather hooked us up with backstage passes for after the show. As a self-proclaimed Gleek, I was psyched to get to see Heather again and to meet the rest of the cast. I told Harry Shum that he's my favorite character on the show, touched Mark Salling's mohawk and stood all the way up on my tippy toes to pose for a picture with Cory Monteith. The show starts filming Season 2 in July, so get excited for even more "Glee!"