Let’s ignore for a second the fact that the writing is AWFUL, that the plots never make sense, that the characters are hackneyed, that the integration of music into story is woeful, that the treacly overproduction of each and every song is an aural demoralization, and that most of the scenes are so poor that it makes me uncomfortable to watch them by myself. No, all of that is Glee’s own business, and it’s my fault for watching it.
But when Glee decides to put on a high school production of West Side Story, it gets PERSONAL.
And since, after an artist has died it is the duty of his self-appointed representatives on earth to guard his reputation, I present a list of grievances so far this season re: WSS.
1) Mercedes and Rachel are going up against each other for the role of Maria. And why is that? Is Mercedes really prepared to sing the high C at the end of Tonight? Has anybody on this casting committee bothered to consider the RANGE and VOCAL TYPE needed to play any of these parts??
2) Rachel’s statement that she would sing the “classic Maria song ‘Somewhere'”. Though there is a brief — and I mean brief — a cappella reprise of “Somewhere” by Maria at the very end of the show, the theatrical version of West Side Story assigns this song is to an off-stage voice. The actual actress playing Maria is onstage enacting the Ballet reenactment of the first act. Somebody please do your homework.
3) Dear Idiots: the melody of “Cool” has two notes on both of the first “Boy”s. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Here’s what you did:
And this was after Mike Cheng proudly announced that he’s been “working on his singing”. Sounds to me like he and everyone else at Glee needs to work a LOT HARDER.
4) Leonard Bernstein has not been mentioned once this season. Kurt name checked Stephen Sondheim in this past week’s episode. It’s not like a have a problem with that per se – I’m all for mentioning the hallowed name of Sondheim whenever possible – but the line he delivered made it sound like Sondheim was the creator of West Side, and yes, he was one of the creators, but I just don’t want Lenny to be forgotten in the hubbub, since if they’re going to crap all over his songs, they might as well help popularize his name/image/work among the younger generation. I don’t seem to recall them having mentioned him in connection with “Ohio” last season either.
So that’s why Glee is really the worst, and why it’s a crying shame that I’m going to have to keep watching it this entire season to keep them honest about their use of the West Side property.
Having said that, I will admit that Darren Criss is the perfect Tony.