Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bonnie's Lucky Gleecation

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First of all... I apologize for the novel that you are about to read. I got carried away, but I just need to make sure to document every detail. Second... if you haven't seen the concert, and you don't want it to be spoiled, don't read... I go into details...

Here's the story of how one lucky gleek got herself into the Private Glee Dress Rehearsals at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

First of all, we didn't have concert tickets for the Las Vegas show. We have concert tickets for Chicago. When my friend approached me and asked to go to Las Vegas (as a graduation present to ourselves...), of course I said yes... but there was one stipulation... we had to go when the Glee Cast was going to be there. Sure enough we booked our trip Wed-Saturday, and the cast arrived Mon/Tues. So, we were golden.

It was an ongoing joke prior to this that we were going to "hang out with the cast". So I brought a Flipcam... just in case (Thanks Tony!), especially since I know how much Cory Monteith loves his Flipcam. I thought that would be my in...

When we arrived Wednesday, we immediately trolled Mandalay Bay. We held our ears up to the doors to the Events Center, tried to get in there, asked staff where they'd be hiding. No luck.

Thursday we didn't do much trolling of Mandalay Bay, but we went to the best night clubs hoping that if they went out at all, they'd be there. We used my knowledge of Chord and Naya's birthday parties to figure out where to go... so, we hit up Tao and Bank. Still... No luck.

Then Friday happened. Since this was a vacation, we decided to go have dinner and do a little gambling on Freemont Street. Since we took the bus downtown, we figured that on the way back we could stop at Mandalay Bay and troll a little more, because I knew that they were having dress rehearsals. When we got there, they were setting up and there were a group of girls standing outside. So we started talking with them. They didn't know each other, and we didn't know them, but we ended up hanging out with them all night. We started a little bond haha.

Well, after several hours of talking to stage crew, sound crew, and hotel staff, we were just about to give up. People were told to be there at 7:30, and it was about 7:30 when were started thinking this was our last hope.

Well... I stood in line at the table giving away the wristbands when I noticed Becky standing with a couple of people who had some wristbands and all access passes... There were a couple of girls standing with her. I immediately got out of line and went to Becky.

I learned that Eric and his daughter had two extra tickets. They were staying at the Mandalay Bay with his wife and his son. His wife and son decided not to go to the dress rehearsal, so they had two extra tickets... there were four of us girls standing there.

Since it was Becky's birthday, we had just graduated, and I am the gleek that I am... I offered to make a charitable donation to the organization of his choice. It just so happens that he is the chairman of Andra's Hand (, and he said that if we would do that, the tickets were ours.

Disclaimer: Not only will I be making a hefty donation because he so graciously gave us tickets to the best experience of my life, this is actually a really, really great cause. So I encourage you to make a donation too :)

So, that was it... we were in... Turns out the wristbands he gave us were VIP bands so we had an open bar and open buffet of food available to us to eat, as well. Really, thank you Eric!

Glee Memorabilia From Dress Rehearsals

We got in at about 8:30. We hung out a little bit, talked with some people. Somehow we scored front row seats, so that was awesome. And we were on the end, which really worked out amazingly for me, since I touched Naya Rivera, and Ashley Fink waved to me... oh yeah and Puck sang and played the guitar five feet in front of my face... but I'll get to that later.

The girls next to us were actually dating/married to a couple of guys in the Warblers, so that was also really cool. We talked with them a lot, and saw the guys give a little point while serenading them during the show. It was really cool.

Then, I noticed choreographer Zach Woodlee. I immediately spotted him, and he wasn't too far away from me. But then he walked back stage, so I had missed my chance to say anything to him... But wait, ten minutes later, he came back out, and I stopped him just to tell him what a fantastic dancer/choreographer I thought he was. He seemed a little taken aback that I knew who he was, and he shook my hand and said "Oh my gosh! Thank you so much". It was pretty cool.

So... now what you've all been waiting for: concert details...

Had to sneak it... the only picture I could take- Stage prior to the show

The concert started at about 9:40, and it ran for about a half hour. Obviously, they started with Don't Stop Believing. You know those intros that they do, well I died a little because sitting in the first row you could see all of them so well. Naya did a little smack of her butt. Mark did his infamous "Suck it" gesture. Harry did that pelvic thrust that he's so good at. Amber did her diva hand raise. At this point, I may or may not have blacked out because my adrenaline was pumping so hard.

Lea and Cory took the leads on DSB. No one else sang, which I was a little bummed about, because I love the regionals version oh so much. But it was still amazing, and I was dying inside.

The next performance was Dog Days are Over. That was great, because they did that thing where they sit at the edge of the stage and sit up one right after the other. And that was super close to me. Then they stood up and at the end of the song, HeMo was reaching out to touch a little girl's hand who was standing front and center. She reached so far, she lost her balance and had to jump off stage. It was really adorable, and made me love her for loving her fans enough to fall off stage just to give one a high five :) Oh... and it may not have been at me... but I did point to Heather at one point in this performance, and she pointed back in my general vicinity... so I can only assume it was to me... hey, I'll take it!

Then we heard Sing, which was again, amazeballs. There was no bad performance in this show, so you'll hear me say that a lot. During the performance, I noticed Heather run off stage... so I knew... Britney was coming. Sure enough.. it was. She had a little difficulty with the mic at this point. She was supposed to have a dialogue with Mr. Shue (he was on the jumbo tron), but we couldn't hear what she said. Something about Britney being her idol or something like that. Then... Slave 4 U.

Needless to say, she came out in this outfit that showed off her rockin' bod (yes, I'm super jealous), and she did those Britney moves better than Ms. Spears herself. It was awesome.

Then we had some other solos (in no particular order): PYT where Harry danced behind Kevin, and blew my mind up with his amazing dance moves; Ain't No Way, where Amber blew me away with her Aretha style vocals; Chris did I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which was a super sweet performance, and took me back to Grilled Cheesus; and finally Fat Bottom Girls.

I have to talk about this one for a minute because it came right after Chris' solo (I think... I don't remember because like I said, my adrenaline was pumping so hard, I sort of blacked out). I wasn't really paying attention to anything but the solo, and all the sudden I felt someone bump into me a little. I noticed it was a security guard... the person they were guarding Ms. Ashley Fink. Yes.. she does go out into the audience... So, as I was standing there wondering why Ashley was in the stands, I realized... Oh Em Glee... Puck is serenading her. So before the performance started, I turned around (since she was ten feet from my face), and waved to her. Much to my delight, with a big smile on her face, she waved back. I felt special.

The spotlight was on Ashley Fink during this performance, and she was shakin' her booty like it was her job. Totally awesome. Mark was performing on the back stage, not the main stage (which several performances took place on). All the sudden, I noticed Mark threw his guitar behind him and was coming down to meet up with Ashley. I died, because like I said... She was ten feet away from me-- five feet up the stairs, five feet away from my row. So, she walked down the stairs, Mark met her, and he sang to her right there. I tried to get a high five or something from one of them, but the security guards were blocking them pretty hard core. They did go up to the main stage though, and walked literally right past me. The security guards had to push me to the side a little.

Then, they rocked out on the guitar. Yes they: Not just Mark, but Mark, Chord and Ashley. It was awesome. That girl can rock!

After that, there was a little intermission, and the cast changed into their BTW clothes. Everyone wore their T-shirts, including Santana who sported 'Lebanese' and not 'Bitch'. The only person missing was Rachel... because after BTW, Rachel belted out Firework.

Now, I'm not sure the order this happened... again, I'm surprised I remember as much as I do, and I do think this came next... but there was also a segment in the show, that revolved around duets. This was one of my favorite parts of the show.

For all of you Heya fans... this is the Heya moment I described earlier. First of all, they had the main stage set up like the classroom. Chris and Lea performed Happy Days first. They performed on the back stage. While everyone may have been looking at them on the back stage, I was watching the cast goof around on the main stage. I'm pretty sure this whole time was improvised by the cast. Kevin was dancing... he really got down in that wheel chair! Cory was kind of observing.. tapping his feet along with the music, and laughing at his other cast mates. Harry was doing some sweet hand dances from his chair.

Naya and Heather turned to each other, and Naya put her hand up for HeMo. Heather put her hand up against Naya's so that they matched. Then they interlocked their fingers. It was a total BFF moment, and all of you Heya fans would have loved it.

Then, Kevin did a sweet dance move that made Naya crack up. He did a little snap up with one hand, then caught the snap down low with the other. Naya loved it. I loved it too. Go Kev!

After Lea and Chris' duet, Naya made a little comment about Trouty Mouth. Naturally, everyone cheered, and I just had to plug Then Sam and Quinn sang Lucky. Naya let everyone know that it was her time to shine, and that's when she and Amber came up big with River Deep Mountain High. Amazing performance.

So... after the Duets, we had the Warblers. The Warblers performed my two favorite songs that they sing: Teenage Dream and Silly Love Songs. They started on the back stage, then worked their way up to the main stage, where they performed Raise Ur Glass. Since we were hangin' with a girlfriend and a wife of two of the guys in the Warblers, we went with them back to the main stage. When they came down the stage, their guys did a little point and serenade to their ladies. It was cute.

So, when we went back to the main stage, they finished with Raise Ur Glass.

At some point in here, the whole cast walked down each side of the floor. I pretty much blacked out at what they were doing, because NAYA EFFING RIVERA high fived me. Yes. I touched Naya Rivera. *Dead* So, I don't know what they were doing... all I remember is having my hand out there, and got a double high five from my favorite cast member... Moving on...

After the Warblers, they had a couple more solos and the final group number.

During these solos, Lea outdid herself with "Don't Rain on My Parade" (I seriously can't understand how she does this so well. It was incredible). Then Cory sang "Jesse's Girl", which I love, because all I could think about was Finchel, and how excited I am for that to happen. Then... my favorite performance: "Valerie".

Yep, Naya sang Valerie. And Harry and HeMo danced to it. They had some other backup dancers in there too, but since Harry, Heather, and Naya were the only cast members on stage, there was some definite Heather/Naya interactions. They came out on the stage together and danced together, then Harry came out and danced with Heather. Their dance was a little bit different from what they did in the show, so get ready. It was awesome. Plus, Naya and Heather were dressed in almost the same outfits, which was cool for the next (and final) performance: "Loser Like Me".

In "Loser Like Me", which Darren was also involved in, everyone had on different outfits, except Naya and Heather, who had on the same outfit, just in different colors. And they sang it, then thanked everyone for coming... and just like that it was over.

They had to push everyone out pretty quickly, because after the show, they were trying to work out some of the kinks that they had incurred during the show.

So, we left. When we went out that night, we happened to run into one of the sound guys that we tried to get access passes from. His name was Matthew-- just a little shout out in case I happen to run into you in Chicago :)

And there it is... I feel so lucky to have been a part of this once in a lifetime experience. I hope you all have enjoyed reading about it... and if you're going to one of the shows, you're in for a treat. Even if you're not impressed with the set list (which, I will have to admit, I would have loved to hear some songs that were not included on this set list), you'll still be impressed with the show. It was fun, the cast was great, and I couldn't be more excited to go to Chicago after seeing the dress rehearsals!

Peace. Love. Glee :)

1 comment:

  1. literally just died, peed my pants, screamed a little at like 5 different points while reading this post. there are no words. #omglee