By Jennifer Plow
Glee continues its third season tonight with episode #2, and it looks like we’re in for a musical theater-filled season! No less than three showtunes are scheduled to appear in tonight’s episode (and we already got Sweet Charity, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, and Hairspray last week!).
Glee has, to date, sent over 20 showtunes to the Billboard Hot 100, a country-wide gauge of popular music from the previous week, due to high downloads. It’s made a huge impact on the music industry, with over 21 million digital tracks sold, bringing standards and forgotten hits to a new generation with each new episode. We at BroadwaySpace are saluting Glee‘s loyalty to musical theater by counting down The Top 10 Showtune Covers on Glee!
10. “Defying Gravity” from Wicked
Stephen Schwartz’s female beltfest of empowerment received not one, but two Glee covers: one by Rachel and one by Kurt. Though Rachel ended up winning the solo due to Kurt’s cracked high note, the song itself ended a success…it ended up charting on the Billboard Hot 100 way up at #31!
9. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl
Lea Michele’s audition for the Broadway revival of Funny Girl was broadcast to millions of viewers when she covered the Styne/Merrill classic, made famous by Barbra Streisand. Though Lauren Ambrose got the part in the revival, Lea’s performance landed the song at #53 on the Hot 100.
8. “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy
Musical theater geeks across the country literally flipped out when Kurt burst into the best eleven o’clock number of all time: Styne and Sondheim’s terrifically twisted musical breakdown from Gypsy. Bold, brave, and nontraditional, the performance landed actor Chris Colfer at #93 on the Hot 100.
7. “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret
When Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth pops onto Glee as April Rhodes, we pay attention. When she covers Kander and Ebb, we’re speechless. Her pitch-perfect rendition of the once-cut ballad put many a Sally Bowles to shame, charting at #88 on the Hot 100. And her optional high note at the end? Superb.
6. “Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do” from Anything Goes/Annie Get Your Gun
We hope there’s more in store for fierce beltress Harmony (played by Glee Project‘s Lindsay Pearce), because last week’s mashup of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin was expertly choreographed, recorded, and executed. And two showtunes in one? We’re in. Tip-top, indeed!
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