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With the success of "Glee's" tribute to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," there is little doubt that this popular TV show has the quality, talent, and finesse to pay homage to even the most fiercely protected classic musicals. An announcement that a classic musical is being revisited almost always raises concerns — or outright protests — from die-hard fans of the film, play or performance. Fortunately, "Glee" has proven itself capable of featuring a beloved cult classic with grace and style, which means the following five classic musicals would likely be adapted with the same care and consideration, making the episode enjoyable to both long-time fans and those new to the songs and characters.
"The Sound Of Music" (1965) —This epic, classic musical features a stellar score and plenty of opportunity for the cast members of "Glee" to have individual roles. Rachel (Lea Michele) might seem like an obvious choice to reprise the role of Maria, originally portrayed by Julie Andrews, but Quinn (Dianna Agron) would be adorable and ironic as the wholesome female lead. Plus, with the developing romance between Quinn and Sam (Chord Overstreet), casting the blond heartthrob as Captain Von Trapp could be hilarious. Not to mention, a break from the spotlight shining on Rachel and Finn (Cory Monteith) lends more variety to the show. The remainder of the "Glee" cast could easily fill-in as the Von Trapp children, nuns, and even German soldiers — Sue (Jane Lynch) in a uniform, anyone?
"Grease" (1978) —Although "Glee" has featured songs from this legendary soundtrack in previous episodes, a full-episode tribute to this classic musical would likely be received with as much anticipation and excitement that "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" adaptation garnered. With the roles of Danny and Sandy likely going to Rachel and Fin or Quinn and Sam — or even Will (Matthew Morrison) and Emma (Jayma Mays) considering the time Will has spent on the stage in Season 2 — the remaining "Glee" cast members could fill-in as Pink Ladies, Greasers, and classmates. Alternatively, the "Glee" writers could get bold and creative, and cast Kurt (Chris Colfer) as either Danny or Sandy; in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Mercedes (Amber Riley) did portray a male character, after all.
"The Wizard Of Oz" (1939) —Stepping into the ruby slippers of Dorothy and her companions is a lofty goal, but the talented folks at "Glee" are capable of respecting the wonder of the original. It would give Gleeks' a new look at the beloved songs, characters, and magic of this timeless classic musical — not to mention it would be the perfect opportunity to cast Sue as The Wicked Witch of the West! Brittany (Heather Morris) wowed "Glee" fans with the strength of her performance in the Britney Spears episode of Season 2, and "The Wizard Of Oz" would be a great time to showcase her talent. If not as Dorothy, Brittany would be a hilarious Cowardly Lion, or a feminine version of the brain-desiring Scarecrow. Whether or not Brittany took the role of Dorothy, it would be a nice change of pace to see a female "Glee" cast member other than Rachel or Quinn take the lead — Mercedes or Santana (Naya Rivera), perhaps.
"The King and I" (1956) —Perhaps one of the least well-known of these five classic musicals among the younger generations of "Glee" fans, "The King and I" offers a cast of beloved characters with which the writers could truly spotlight several of the "Glee" performers. Deborah Kerr was enchanting as Anna, a school teacher and widow who finds herself in the royal palace of the King of Siam — a strong, wise, independent, and capable female character which any of the "Glee" ladies could surely embody. King Mongkut of Siam, a fiercely proud and stubborn character, would be a great opportunity to give Artie (Kevin McHale) a lead role. Many of the best scenes involving the King and Anna involved the King being seated, and her struggle to not sit with her head higher than his. The potential for stunning wardrobe items in the oriental style, plus elaborate hair and make-up, could make a "Glee" visit upon "The King and I" a truly memorable spectacle.
"Moulin Rouge!" (2001) —The 2001 version of the 1952 classic musical soared to unprecedented heights of popularity, making this remake a familiar, recent film to feature in a "Glee" episode. The roles of Satine and Christian would obviously be the lead pair, with The Duke and other members of the cast somewhat in the background compared to the lead, romantic duo. "Glee" writers could default to Rachel and Finn, who often have the starring lovebird roles, or completely surprise Gleeks with a new cast combination. The fantastic costumes and epic score — the 2001 version of the classic musical won an Oscar for Best Costume Design according to IMDB — would give the "Glee" producers countless options for a wild, spectacular set and wardrobe. As a bonus, the 2001 version is better known among the younger "Glee" fans, giving them their own familiar but classic musical featured on the hit TV show.
IMDB, "Moulin Rouge! (2001) - Awards"
- The Wicked Witch of the West
- The King and I
- popular TV show
- The Wizard Of Oz
- The Sound Of Music
- Cowardly Lion
- ruby slippers