Ok, it’s not really Hero Complex material, but it WAS at Comic-Con…
For the true “Glee” fans — and there are a lot of them, judging from the standing-room-only turnout for the Comic-Con panel Saturday — we should get the news out of the way first. The producers of Fox’s quirky new show about a high school glee club premiered the entire second episode to fans (the first was aired on TV in the spring) and the reception was enthusiastic.
That was especially true for two musical numbers, covers of Kanye West‘s “Gold Digger” and (especially) Salt N Pepa‘s “Push It,” which became a showstopper in the episode. Earlier this year, the cast’s cover of Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” lit up iTunes charts and became the show’s signature tune…
The producers promise more striking musical choices in the future, including a late-season episode that will feature songs by both Barbra Streisand and the Rolling Stones.
“If we did the music I wanted to listen to, no one would watch the show,” joked writer-producer Ian Brennan, whose tastes seem to tend toward the more eccentric. (The panel was moderated by The Times’ own Denise Martin.)
In the meantime, the cast is headed out on a 12-day, 10-city tour this summer to drum up more interest in the show. That includes 22-year-old Lea Michele, the longtime Broadway trouper who plays lovestruck Rachel Berry and appears positioned for major stardom with this role. Michele received raucous applause and cheers upon being introduced and most of the fan questions were directed at her. The warmth was so enveloping that at one point costar Matthew Morrison — who has the other lead as the young teacher who leads the club — jokingly aimed his microphone at Michele and backed away.
For her part, Michele admitted that trying to sing pop songs after years of belting out show tunes has taken some adjustment. “Matt and I have this intense Broadway bravado,” she said, adding that the show’s music directors had coached the pair on backing off from some of their dramatic instincts.
Like other cast members, Michele is also struggling to explain the show to those who have not seen it.
Costar Cory Monteith told the crowd he has his own view of the show’s premise: “It’s like if ‘High School Musical’ had been punched in the stomach and had its lunch money stolen.”
— Scott Collins