Girlís Glee Club/Menís Chorus
I watched the new Fox comedy “Glee” Tuesday night after “American Idol” and it brought back memories of my own days in the Girl’s Glee Club/Men’s Chorus at Cleveland Heights High School.
Let’s face it, Glee Club and chorus aren’t what all the popular kids want to be in. When the high school quarterback Finn Hudson (played by Cory Monteith) gets conned by advisor Will Schuster (played by Matthew Morrison of Broadway’s “Hairspray”) to be in the glee club, he tells his fellow football players why he needs to be in the club. His “We’re all losers here,” anti-hero speech is unexpected, but rings true, as does the rest of this unexpectedly interesting take-off on how losers become winners in high school. The hand signal for “L” as “loser” in the TV title logo is played out in his “pep talk.”
The show comes from Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Nip/Tuck" and "Popular," and it’s a one-hour musical comedy that follows an optimistic high school teacher as he tries to transform the school's Glee Club and inspire a group of losers to make it to the nationals.
My own high school experience in chorus wasn’t exactly like that. I remember being in the club with my best friend, Carol Gifford. I was a soprano, being I stood on the upper right side of the risers and Carol was an alto standing on the upper left hand side of the risers. Anyway Giff and I would catch each others eyes and completely break into hysterical laughter while trying not to fall off of the risers.
The director of this group was named Bill Thomas and as I recall took himself way too seriously, which in turn gave us many of humorous moments at his expense. He used to admonish Giff and I all of the time for being silly.
In the spring each year the group would go on tour. We went to places like Washington D.C. one year and Virginia another.
I can’t honestly remember all of the places we performed on these tours. I specifically remember experiencing all the sights of Washington D.C. though.
Have you ever heard of an actress named Sean Young? Let me just tell you that she was part of the Girl’s Glee Club way back in the seventies with me. Sean was very outgoing. She had a special quality that made you want to be around her and we all knew she was destined for greatness. Today she has a pretty solid film career, though I think some of her role choices have been slightly off beat.
When we did go on tour we would travel in two buses. I remember eating a lot of fast food on the road and feeling very grown up at the time.
If you get a chance catch “Glee” on the FOX network this fall. I think it would be totally worth your while to watch it.
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com