It's billed as "Glee Live!" But there was no Coach Sylvester or Mr. Schue at Target Center Wednesday. Just Rachel, Finn, Mercedes and all the kids from TV's popular "Glee" on a summer tour at an arena near you.
Was "Glee Live!" A) a stage version of the TV show B) a Broadway-like version of a high-school musical C) like American Idols Live D) a concert or E) a variety show?
All of the above is the correct answer.
Since I wasn't in high school choir, I asked Mounds Park Academy choir director John "Mr. Hobbs" Habermann to help with our report cards of "Glee Live!"
Director: There was a lot of vocal "doubling" (via technology) but they need that enhancement. But, overall, the ensemble numbers got stronger as the production went on. Grade: A-minus to start, A by end.
Critic: The full ensemble captured the flavor of the TV show, which was important to the sell-out crowd of 13,000 (mostly tween girls and their parents) but didn't show much imagination save for the closing "Somebody To Love." Grade: B. The five guys who did a flat, acoustic treatment of Rebecca Black's trite "Friday" missed an opportunity for some creative harmonizing. Grade: D.
Director: The Warbler numbers stood out because of the all-male sound. Grade: A.
Critic: The Warblers were definitely tops, especially their smart vocal arrangements on "Teenage Dream" and "Silly Love Songs." Grade: A
Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel's (Lea Michele) mashup of "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "Get Happy."
Director. Fantastic. Best of show. Grade A.
Critic: The Kurt/Rachel duet may have been the best vocal number of the night. A smart arrangement. Grade: A-plus.
Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Sam (Chord Overstreet), "Lucky."
Director: Good vocal contrast. Grade: A-minus.
Critic: They didn't have the right vocal blend or connect with one another. Grade: C.
Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Santana (Nya Rivera), "River Deep, Mountain High."
Director: They really connected. Grade: A-plus.
Critic: Mercedes had Tina Turner's voice and Santana had Tina's moves. That's a savvy duet. Grade: A.
Artie (Kevin McHale), "PYT" and "Safety Dance."
Director: He's the strongest male vocalist. He doesn't over-sing and he's quite agile. Grade: A-plus.
Critic: He knows how to sell a song, commanded the stage and sure can dance. Grade: A.
Rachel (Lea Michele), "Firework."
Director: She's Ms. Consistent. You can see why she's a star. Grade: A.
Critic: She's more commanding on TV. Too Broadway live. Grade: B.
Mercedes (Amber Riley), "Ain't No Way."
Director: Not every run fit in place. She overdid it a tad. Grade: A-minus.
Critic: Nice gospelly voice, but she didn't let the song build. Grade: B-minus.
Kurt (Chris Colfer), "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "All the Single Ladies."
Director: The Beatles song didn't sit well with his voice. The night's low point, but he had great boots. He always had a little flair and individual style. Grade: C.
Critic: "I Want To Hold Your Hand" lacked joy and "Single Ladies" was campy fun but total lip sync. Grade: C-plus.
Director: They know their crowd, they know how to play to it, and how to entertain their people. Grade: B-plus
Critic: The pacing -- 24 songs in 80 minutes -- left no time to breathe between numbers, the five-person band was too loud and there was too much lip-synching. Still, the hit-song repertoire was right, the show captured the spirit and energy of the TV program and the uplifting message connected with this crowd. This group could maybe take regionals but not nationals. Grade: B.