Back in the days when William Shakespeare wrote those lines (yes, I’m still a firm believer in William Shakespeare), theater was looked down upon as low. The majority viewed actors and drunk, dissolute types. Women were either forbidden from participating or, when they were, considered whores since they were ‘showing their bodies’ before large crowds of people, mostly men. Theater was not respectable in any way.
Then time went on, people grew up, became smarter (and more stupid), but theater suddenly became renown. Big names like Patrick Stewart, Alan Rickman, Sr. Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, Ian McDiarmid, Helen Mirren, Roger Rees and many others helped bring credibility and respect (dare I say nobility) to the position of actor. Theater was now something to admire, something to look upon as a worthy ambition.
Then came the 21st century. Someone had the idea to make a TV drama series in the style of a Broadway show-tunes production and suddenly, we have Glee. Though its mainstream popularity has definitely sky-rocketed, the cheesy, stereotypical characters of Glee and its hammy, re-use of cover songs (the majority of such by modern pop-artists) have also furthered the rumor that musical theater is something effeminate and only gay people want to be in theater.
In affect, Glee made theater disreputable again.
Have I listened to Glee? Unfortunately, I have. I’ve found their covers of good songs like the Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” or Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” to be quite unexciting to say the least. In contrast, their covers of cheesy, corny and cliche pop songs like that dog-awful “Baby” made me want to scream “bloody murder” and listen to black metal. (yeah, that bad).
One of the worst jabs (you’ll never believe this) was in a commercial I saw for one of these notebooks in which Lea Michelle appeared. Now my brother, who’s one of these people who has been fooled by Glee into thinking that all theater is gay, thought that the person in the commercial was Idina Menzel. Now I’m not her biggest fan, but I found myself sticking up for her hardcore like! I mean, come on, Menzel’s voice is much more enjoyable than nasally old Michelle. And get this, unlike the majority of Glee, Menzel can actually sing and did so in spite of her asthma problem (which is to be greatly commended). Like I would much sooner hear her sing one of those songs from Wicked or her I Stand album than hear Glee butcher another great song, or make bad songs worse.
Now obviously, I’m not one of these hipsters who thinks all popular things are evil. After all, I love Lady Gaga - and some 78violet and Katy Perry when I’m in the mood for it. But I actually find their material enjoyable. Glee? Please, give me NWOBHM any day over that. It’s just not my cup of tea! Period.
So I will go back to Shakespeare, where they had musical verse with their theater that didn’t make me want to bash my brains in while I listened to it. In this case, I think it is nobler in my mind to ‘take arms against a sea of troubles [namely Glee], and, by opposing, end them.’