Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | 7:05 a.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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It’s been one week since the Season 2 finale of Fox’s Glee (12th place, Ryan Murphy -- really?!). Withdrawal, Gleeks? Fear not, as Glee Live! In Concert! launched at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on May 21 and wraps its 16-city tour at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on June 18.
The tour includes all of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Glee stars: Lea Michele (Rachel Berry), Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), Emmy winner Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang), Mark Salling (Noah “Puck” Puckerman), Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray), Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez), Heather Morris (Brittany S. Pierce), Harry Shum Jr. (Mike Chang), Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) and Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson), hands down Season 2’s best addition.
Ashley Fink (Lauren Zizes) also performed with the cast at Mandalay Bay. The show’s adults -- Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester), Emmy winner Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) and Jayma Mays (Emma Pillsbury) -- appear via funny video footage.
Here is the set list of the kickoff night at Mandalay Bay: “Don’t Stop Believin,’ ” by the cast; “Dog Days Are Over” by Tina and Mercedes; “Sing” by Finnchel; “I’m a Slave 4 U” by Brittany, who along with Mike is the show’s best dancer (the song was perhaps a tad too risque for the all-ages crowd); “Fat Bottomed Girls” by the boys, with the majority on guitar, Finn on drums and Lauren in the audience; “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by Kurt in a big, white bowtie; “Ain’t No Way” by Mercedes in a powerful tribute to Aretha Franklin; “P.Y.T.” by Artie and Mike; “Born This Way” by the cast; “Firework” by Rachel; and then three fabulous songs by The Warblers -- “Teenage Dream,” “Silly Love Songs” and “Raise Your Glass.”
Continuing … “Happy Days Are Here Again” by Rachel and Kurt; “Lucky” by Sam and Quinn; “River Deep, Mountain High” by Mercedes and Santana; “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Rachel, with a big note at the end; “Jessie’s Girl” by Finn; “Valerie” by Santana; and “Loser Like Me” by the full cast, with a confetti cannon to end the song. The five-song “encore” was “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Kurt, Brittany and Tina; an acoustic “Friday” by the boys, with Puck and Sam on guitars; “Safety Dance” by Artie; “Empire State of Mind” by Finn and Artie; and the forever crowd-pleasing “Somebody to Love” by the cast.
Among the evening’s many Glee-ful highlights: Finn, Puck and Blaine were the most popular with the crowd, while Rachel and Mercedes were neck-and-neck. Every cast member received a solo during the concert. The audience fully embraced gay characters Kurt and Blaine. Blaine and The Warblers were uh-ma-zing. Kurt, Brittany and Tina during “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” = totally Sasha Fierce.
The audience included adults, and a few children, in blue and red Warblers jackets and Cheerios cheerleader outfits (men and women), and one group of men wore red Kiss Me Karofsky T-shirts. The Cheerios who are part of the tour handed out Sue’s Barf Bags to the audience. The lines for merchandise were possibly the longest ever in the history of the universe. Oh, and two sassy ladies sitting nearby screamed at the top of their lungs for Finn.
Glee Live! In Concert! is presented by Chevrolet and is in association with Samsung Infuse 4G exclusively from AT&T. The cool Samsung Infuse 4G and its Glee Live! Facebook page (facebook.com/gleelivesamsunginfuse) is information central for the tour -- tour news, freebies and contests to attend the tour closer in New York and the Samsung AT&T Spring Fling party with Glee cast members.
At the concert, Samsung had a fun interactive booth where Gleeks could snap a souvenir photo with a Glee backdrop. Check out Glee Live! takes from Las Vegas Weekly’s resident Gleek Mark Adams and John Katsilometes of The Kats Report on LasVegasSun.com, and thanks to Tom Donoghue for his Finn-tastic photo gallery.
Now it’s time for summer vacation until senior year starts for The Glee Club at William McKinley High School. Please let it be senior year for The Warblers, too. Meantime, a question to ponder all summer long: Will Mike and Tina’s babies be Asian, too?
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and arts and entertainment editor of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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