Glee team un­der the pump

Glee is a labour of love, writes Luaine Lee

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

FOR the cre­ators of Fox’s most fa­mous show, it’s not so much Glee as it is grit. The cast and crew of the enor­mously pop­u­lar se­ries con­jure up a movie mu­si­cal in just one week.

Any­one who has ex­pe­ri­enced dance, mu­sic or act­ing re­hearsals knows that sched­ule seems im­pos­si­ble.

The show’s mak­ers agree there’s jaw-clench­ing pres­sure to get the job done.

‘‘ Ev­ery episode is eight days,’’ cos­tume de­signer Lou Eyrich says. ‘‘ And we get a script three, four days into it, so we ba­si­cally have four days of prep and then start shoot­ing, and then catch up a lit­tle bit in the next few days.’’

Mu­sic di­rec­tor Adam An­ders not only pre­pares the mu­sic, he also or­ches­trates it.

‘‘ I think this is the most civil you will ever see us be­cause we are al­ways fight­ing for time,’’ he says.

‘‘ We never have enough time, of course. . . But you gotta make it work. When they’re shoot­ing, the mu­sic has to be done,’’ he says.

An­ders works with a part­ner in Swe­den. ‘‘ We ar­range ev­ery­thing. We take our cues from (co-cre­ator) Ryan Mur­phy. Do you want this to be a kind of ode to the orig­i­nal? Do you want a rein­ven­tion? What are we look­ing for here? We’re try­ing to serve the story, and we go from there. Grit your teeth: The

cast are no strangers to hard work.

‘‘ But my whole thing is to kind of strad­dle the fence be­tween what Glee is — the in­spi­ra­tion and ev­ery­thing — and not go­ing cheesy.’’

Chore­og­ra­pher Zach Woodlee has eight hours to pre­pare the dance num­ber. That in­cludes the sing­ing.

Mur­phy, cre­ator and ex­ecu- tive pro­ducer of Nip/Tuck, says he was naive when Glee be­gan.

‘‘ We didn’t know what we were do­ing when we started. We were kind of mak­ing it up as we went along,’’ he says.

‘‘ But the one thing that re­ally clicked for me is when we went on tour, which was in­stantly sold out, which was amaz­ing, and all the kids were there, and they would come out. Some of them would have two lines, three lines, and they got these huge ova­tions, and they had their sort of mini fan clubs,’’ Mur­phy says.

When Mur­phy and cocre­ator Ian Bren­nan first came up with the idea of Glee, the movie Elec­tion was one of their in­spi­ra­tions.

‘‘ I think high-school shows work and I think col­lege shows do not, be­cause I think high- school shows are about firsts: first love, first kiss, first fights,’’ Mur­phy says.

Now that Glee is such a hit, he says song­writ­ers are ea­ger to have their work fea­tured on the show. One such plea ar­rived unan­nounced.

‘‘ It was in a pack­age and it was sort of hand­writ­ten and it was two CDs and it said, ‘ Hi, Ryan. I hope you would con­sider some of these songs for Glee, and then it said ‘ Paul’ (McCart­ney). I opened it up and it had these huge songs. I was gob­s­macked. I grew up with that guy, so of course we are go­ing to do some­thing with— I don’t think a whole episode — but some­thing with him.’’ Glee, Chan­nel 10, Mon­day 7.30pm. FOX8, Satur­day 6.30pm, Sun­day 2pm

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