TOUR DE FARCE
The "Glee Live! In Concert!" tour will travel for two weeks and hit Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Ticket prices range from $35 to $94, depending on the market. All five of the New York shows at Radio City Music Hall have sold out, Bywater says, and the fourth and final Los Angeles concert sold out in 30 seconds after sales went live. ("I've never even been to Radio City Music Hall before," says actor Kevin McHale, who plays the parapalegic Artie.)
Beyond the standard admission ticket, Front Line's I Love All Access is offering a VIP package to fans that includes priority seating, a gift bag with exclusive merch and a preshow party for $295. So far, the packages have sold out for nine of the 13 shows. Fox teamed with FEA to sell merch, and the show's albums and DVDs also will be available at the concert venues.
Adam Anders, who produces the songs featured on "Glee" as well as the soundtracks, arranged the tracks that will be performed during the tour. There are 17 songs currently being considered for inclusion in the stage show. The 90-minute concert will mix big cast numbers from the TV show with solos from various cast members -- and Anders says there is the possibility that some of the cast will switch off and sing songs originally performed by a different cast member during the show. The announced set list includes "Don't Stop Believin'," Van Halen's "Jump," "Don't Rain on My Parade" and Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."
"It's really a concert -- it's not a stage production of the show," Bywater says, although there will be video footage to complement the performances. "We think the audience is coming to hear songs."
There are several stage veterans in the cast; Michele and Jenna Ushkowitz, who plays Tina, grew up playing child roles on Broadway and appeared in the Tony Award-winning musical "Spring Awakening" just prior to "Glee." While the rigors of touring may be new to most of the cast, Anders experienced firsthand what it's like to go from "the vacuum" of recording the music in the studio to seeing the impact the songs have when performed live.
"I was in the crowd at 'Oprah' and I thought I was at a Jonas Brothers concert," Anders says. "There was just so much screaming-and they were all adults. It was pandemonium. I can only imagine what it's going to be like when kids are there."
Plans are already in the works for another, longer "Glee" tour to follow the end of the show's second season in 2011; Bywater says they've been offered dates in arenas. "One of the promoters called me and said, 'Geoff, you have the hottest ticket in the country,' " he says. "It's good to hear that, but we have to make sure we deliver."