Sunday, February 13, 2011


I'm so full of glee that it's overflowing. Spent the better part of yesterday getting, what may be, my last dose of real live Glee. Grandkid Catherine, a high school senior, has been part of the performing choir (I think that's what you call a bunch of talented kids singing and dancing their way to pure glee) at Prospect High in the Chicago area. A large competition took place in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin close enough for us to drive over to watch her and her group perform. Although I have never watched the TV version of this Glee thing, I kinda get the idea. After hours upon hours of preparation, hundreds of kids sing and dance their collective little butts off hoping to beat the little butts off of the other thousand teams of hundreds of singing and dancing kids. (I should probably refer to them as young adults) Most of the action takes place in the gym/auditorium where spectators squirm around on the oak planked grandstand seats while friends, classmates and parents of the preforming group get to sit in folding chairs in front of the stage to scream and howl encouragement to the performers. After a short introduction on a barely audible loudspeaker the group springs to life. Upbeat vocals, solos and duets and triplets and quadtets, octets and pretty soon the entire seven hundred voices unite into one sweet gigatet. All the while all eight hundred of them are dancing (their butts off) wildly with choreography that would bring tears to Paula Abdul's little eyes. As if this isn't enough, during all this singing, dancing and smiling, the entire nine hundred kids change costumes without missing a beat. Pretty incredible huh? Considering that this repeats itself for each of the six or seven thousand choirs (that's what I'm told they're called) during the course of a day things run fairly smoothly. I'd like to share a few of my observations of the event. Every dance step, high note, low note, gesture and head toss was accompanied by screams, whistles, applause and hoots from well wishers scattered around the gym/auditorium. The loudest, or course, from the floor seats. Secondly, it was smart to stay in your selected seat during and in between performances or risk the possibility of being run down by singing and/or dancing "young adults" racing to or from their dressing rooms, place on the stage, place in the gym/auditorium to check out the competition, or the snack bar for some, much needed, energy producing substance. This accompanied by an equal amount of parents, relatives, sisters, brothers, friends and some guy that got accidentally stopped in to ask directions to Culvers, makes the "Running With the Bulls" child's play. All and all it was a very entertaining and enjoyable afternoon even though I didn't run into Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch or Lea Michele, I think I saw the actual people that their characters were modeled after. I can't close this Gleeful review without reporting a few of the real highlights of the event. (Other than the outstanding performance by my very own granddaughter Catherine) Highlight #1 - during one of the costume changes one of the male performers didn't grab a hat so he continued the dance number going through all the same gestures as the hatted guys only hatless. (and he did an almost convincing job of it) #2 - Similar situation only this time a girl missed her apron and dish towel for a rousing rendition of Nine to Five. (once again carried off like a real trouper) And at #3 - The costume malfunction that we all (well me) wait to happen. A strenuous dance move, a broken strap and - well it wasn't a complete bust but . . . the show must go on and go on it did for what probably seemed like two hours for the young lady involved. Once again true professionalism prevailed and most important of all, no animals were injured in the production of this event. (Just in - the exposer has landed a lucrative contract from Victoria's Secret) Sadly, I didn't take any photos of the event because the flash might distract some of the judges, spectators or snack bar attendants. But, here is a rear view of Catherine's group and a shot of her at the awards presentation.

Catherine is the girl, front row left, facing the guy with his back to us.
Isn't she pretty?

Some of the thousands of Young Adults waiting for the award announcements. Catherine is the short girl in the center of the back row next to the tall guy with the white tie. I think she even looks better in this shot.

The winning group celebrates with the traditional GatorAde pour!
I didn't think that they were that great!