Coming Attractions,  Documentary Film Review,  entertainment,  Film Reviews

The Price of Glee Breaks Down the Lives Behind a Global Phenomenon

I’ve been known to articulate often about the demands of being in a Broadway show and joke about the fact that rehearsals are the real vacation.  Once the show opens for previews rehearsals persists for 6 hours, a 2-3 hour performance and notes for another 45 minutes before heading home.  All of this leading up to opening night.  Once the show opens, most of the cast can rest, but those who understudy and the dance captains now begin understudy rehearsals once or twice a week.  You have two show matinee performance and the principal cast are granting interviews and/or performing with day and nighttime talk shows, industry events (Easter Bonnet Competition, Tony’s Broadway Bares), not to mention doing sometimes 14 shows in a row without a break when there is an impending schedule change due to holidays, etc… The mental and physical stress that comes with all of this is unimaginable.

You literally have no life.  Eight shows a week in 6 days, two week vacation twice a years and a sick day for every 30 days you work. As much fun as it can be doing what you loved and living out your childhood dreams, trust me, it is not for faint of heart.  Imagine taking all of this and adding a grueling intense television schedule.  Instead of having a hiatus where you can recharge and relax, you globetrotting and performing for massive “gleeks.”  This was what the cast of Glee was dealing with on top of becoming a cultural phenomenon, much like it’s predecessor “Fame” in the early 90’s.

The cultural phenomenon and hit musical series, “Glee,” catapulted a cast of relative unknowns into international superstardom and literally rocked pop culture. But, the show that sparked a new era of acceptance was also saddled with extreme devastation on the inside. Endless scandals, tabloid gossip and fatal tragedies plagued the rising stars on what was supposed to be the most joyful show on television.

Now, ID pulls back the curtain to explore the harsh reality of fame with the three-part limited docuseries, THE PRICE OF GLEE, unpacking cast members’ lives on and off set through ne interviews showcasing the demands of being on a hit TV series and dark behind-the-scenes drama.

We hear directly from those outside of the cast bubble, relatives, friends of “Glee” cast members; set decorators, hairdressers, stylists, publicists and entertainment reporters who covered the phenomenon.

Interviews from those close to the late Cory Monteith shed light on the actor’s journey to international acclaim and the demons that haunted him, ultimately leading to his overdose at 31 in a British Columbian hotel room. Including accusations that the energy and spirit of the show suffered after his death.

Those who worked on set and alongside Mark Salling provide commentary into their working relationship and shock of the dark and disturbing discovery of child pornography in Salling’s possession that led to his death by suicide at 35.

George Rivera, father to Naya Rivera, gives an intimate tribute to his daughter taking a look back into Naya’s life as a young actress, how her career took off and showcasing her journey from child actor to cheerleader.  Stories about Rivera and her bestie keying and egging her co-star/boyfriend’s car illustrated life imitating art with adults behaving like high schoolers. Several crew members were lost ranging to death by suicide to heart attacks to the three tragic losses of Cory, Mark and Salling.

Not to mention those who speak out openly about Lea Michelle and her controversial behavior on and off the set.  However, none of that has halted her rave reviews as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway.  We all remember the numerous times she sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” at the Tony’s, on Glee and anywhere she could campaigning for the same role that made Barbra Streisand a global star.

Fame can be intoxicating to those not equipped to handle all the complexities and lack of privacy that come along with it – especially if you are a newbie to the industry.  It is incredibly difficult to mentally and emotionally cope with the loss of such a high profile gig where one day you are globally recognizable and the next one is struggling with the reality of what’s next.

As heartbreaking and unsettling as all of it is, we are left with a legacy of a show that brought so much joy and bright, young talent we watched shift and grow right before our eyes.


I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic,Carla Renata is a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association (Co-President Documentary Branch), African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY,, Maltin on Movies, The Cherry Picks, IGN Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, Good Day LA, ET Live!, Turner Classic Movies, KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand, The Cherry Picks, The Stream Team (Beond TV) ITV, Fox Soul's The Black Report, The ListTV and more. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Sundays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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