Vote of the week: 'Glee' and theme parks' live musical shows
Written by Robert Niles
Fox Television's Glee has become one of the nation's more popular TV shows over the past year, especially among younger viewers. If you're not familiar with the show, it follows a fictional Ohio high school show choir (a.k.a. "glee club"), but mostly just provides a thin narrative excuse for its cast to sing covers of hit pop songs.Tweet
Photo courtesy Fox
The covers become hits themselves. This week, the cast of Glee passed The Beatles in charting more Billboard Hot 100 hits than any non-solo act in pop history. (Though, to be fair, The Beatles have spent more than five times the number of weeks on the chart and sold nearly an order of magnitude more albums than the cast of Glee has.)
What does this have to do with theme parks? Well, I know from personal experience that many of the students who sing and dance in real-life show choirs end up performing in theme parks, either as a summer job or as a way into a performing career. I went to high school in Indianapolis, and performed in my high school's show choir there. And I knew folks who went on to perform in theme parks including as Kings Island, Great America and Holiday World.
The popularity of Glee has me wondering: If millions of TV viewers have become fans of watching show choir-style production numbers on TV, does than translate into increased popularity for those types of shows in theme parks?
Are you more likely now to watch a live musical show on your next theme park visit, due to Glee? If you don't watch the show, please pick one of the "Not really" responses - depending upon whether you already watch these shows in theme parks or not.
I've gotta throw in this totally personal stuff because, hey, it's my post: The creator of Glee, Ryan Murphy, attended high school in Indianapolis around the same time as I did. So I presume that at some point, I competed against him in a show choir competition.
Also, you know how the Glee show choir's arch-nemesis is Carmel High School? Murphy didn't pick that name out of an outrageously styled hat. The Carmel (Indiana) High School Ambassadors (no, they weren't really called Vocal Adrenaline) were the choir to beat in the Midwest in the 1980s. Neither my school, nor Murphy's, ever did while we were there.
Two more notes: When MTV decided to jump on the "Glee" bandwagon and run a special on a real-life show choir in the Midwest, they chose my former choir, the Central Sound from Indianapolis' Lawrence Central High School, to profile.
And, finally, the name of the school in Glee is McKinley, which also happens to be the name of the school my children attend here in Pasadena. Here's what makes that funny (to me, at least): NBC's got a midseason replacement series coming up, "Harry's Law," which not-so-coincidently is also set at a "McKinley High School" in the state of Ohio. Where did NBC film that episode of the show? At my kids' McKinley School.
Okay, enough of that. Tell us about your favorite - or least favorite - live theme park musical show, in the comments.
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