Thursday, September 10, 2009

Live life with Glee

In Terrence McNally's brilliant play Master Class, the character of Maria Callas refers to the theatre as "a sacred place." If you understand that sentiment, or if you just love rooting for the underdog and hearing some great music, you need to watch Glee on Wednesdays at 9:00 on Fox this season. (The show had a premiere this past spring to help capitalize on the popularity of American Idol, but the season just started this week. You can catch the rerun of the premiere on Friday night at 9:00.)

The show so perfectly captures the angst and earnestness of high school theatre and music geeks that you simultaneously squirm but can't look away. The cast is hugely talented - Matthew Morrison played Link Larkin in Hairspray on Broadway and Lea Michele played the role in the acclaimed show Spring Awakening. The music and the dancing are both superb and hillarious.

How is it related to church music? Well, to me (like McNally's version of Maria Callas), music and musical theatre are their own forms of worship. At its best, it can awaken your soul while it entertains. The show also reminds us to be kind to each other and to live life with glee - that sounds like the Gospel message to me.


  1. One of the common complaints of youth is that the music of the church can seem old and stodgy compared to other things they hear. Now, that may not be all bad, as these have quite different goals. Still, the Lutheran churches seem to need to loosen up occassionaly. To paraphrase "Sister Act," go find your tambourines. Or at least, don't complain when others find theirs.

  2. There was an article in Lutheran Partners a few years ago where they asked people what kind of music they wanted to sing/hear in church, and the overwhelming preference among young people was for traditional music. The preference for "Contemporary Music" was mostly among "Baby Boomers" and not the youth. I see that reflected in our own Worship and Music Committee. The two oldest members are "Baby Boomers" and they want more "Contemporary Music" while everyone else is younger and the preference is for "Traditional Music" and it is the two youngest members of the Committee who want the most "Traditional" or "Classical" music.

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