Well, the Queen promise that was made in the Jump for Glee promo last month came true last night. Both Under Pressure and Somebody to Love were performed — quite well, I might add.
Apart from the entry level production values of the show itself, the vocal abilities of the cast members were commendable; the famous high notes in the songs, however, were suspiciously absent from their live versions last night.
My only criticism of the songs’ inclusion in the theatre production was that they both were opening numbers that kickstarted Acts II and III, so there was no real storytelling reason to have them in the plot. They struck me more as filler tunes with a literal connection to the TV show instead of being integral to the characters’ situations.
Hold on, though . . .
There was a surprising moment of dialogue when Sue Stallone actually mentions “Queen” in her address to the students a few minutes after their performance of Under Pressure. She was chastising them for “…taking a classic and ruined it. Come on, people . . . it’s Queen! You took a Queen classic and made it worse than nails on a chalkboard!”
None of the other songs got a narrative mention last night so for whatever reason, the writer of this show opted to single out Queen from the pack yet again. So not only were they the only group to have two songs in the show, the band gets mentioned briefly in the show.
To top it off, between acts there was piped music coming in to the dinner theatre that at first listen sounded like the Glee TV show song covers. To my delight, Fat Bottomed Girls was played but it was not the same version that Puck sang on the show, so I’m at a loss as to who performed it.
The setup at Jubilations was unique in the sense that the cast members actually interacted with the audience before the show and between acts. For example, Flint Hudson (played by Tenaj Williams), actually escorted us to our table after we presented out tickets at the theatre door. Before he left us to help another guests, I asked if he would sign the cover of my playbill, which he generously did. So with one autograph completed, I made a point of getting the other cast members to sign the cover as the night went on.
For a formal review of the show, read about it here at the Calgary Musical site.