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The Gay Legacy of 'Glee'

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When Glee ends its six-season run tonight with a special two-hour finale, its legacy will certainly be mixed. The show debuted in 2009 and became an instant phenomenon -- spawning hit singles, sold-out concerts, a reality competition series and a 3-D film. In the beginning, the fresh-faced cast and the delightfully wicked Jane Lynch drew praise for bringing Ryan Murphy’s twisted vision to life. It was a rare achievement, and still one of the only successful TV musicals of all time.

But even the freshman season was far from flawless. Wildly uneven tone and quality plagued the series, while tribute episodes and guest appearances weighed down the already cumbersome (and at times nonsensical) narratives. Glee could be great, but as the run soldiered on -- ushering its protagonists through graduation, college and beyond -- the great moments were further and further between.

What has been consistent, however, is the show’s celebration of individuality and commitment to its queer characters. Say what you will about the artistic quality of the work, but its impact on mainstream television cannot be denied.

See some of the reasons why Glee was a game-changer for gay teens on TV, AFTER THE JUMP

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Darren Criss, Chris Colfer and the Cast of 'Glee' Play a Raunchy Game of Cards Against Humanity with Ellen: VIDEO

Ellen

Glee stars Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz, Lea Michele, Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week ahead of next Friday's Glee series finale to play a game of Cards Against Humanitywhich if you haven't played yet is basically just a raunchier version of Apples to Apples. 

The cast also sat down with Ellen to reminisce about the show's six years on air and discuss shooting an emotional scene in the last episode paying tribute to former Glee leading man Cory Monteith, who passed away from a drug overdose in July 2013.

Watch both segments, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Glee series finale airs March 20th at 8/7c on Fox.

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Theatre News: Darren Criss Does ‘Hedwig,’ Bruce Willis, Clive Owen and ‘Hamilton’ Coming To Broadway

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> As reported earlier, producers have announced that Glee star Darren Criss will take over as Broadway’s next Hedwig on April 29, after the musical’s creator and original star, John Cameron Mitchell, ends his run in the acclaimed revival at the Booth Theatre. Criss was previously seen on Broadway in 2012 in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Tony winner Lena Hall will also step aside make way for Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot, Passing Strange) to take over the role of Yitzhak. Jones will begin performances on April 14.

Hamilton> The Public Theater’s Off-Broadway production of Hamilton, the new acclaimed musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of In the Heights) will transfer to Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre this summer, producers Jeffrey Seller and the Public Theater announced last week. Inspired by Ron Chernow’s book Alexander Hamilton, and with book, music and lyrics by Miranda, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and direction by Thomas Kail, the show will begin previews on July 13 for an opening night of August 6.

Clive owen> Roundabout Theatre Company announced that Clive Owen will make his Broadway debut in Harold Pinter’s Old Times, the opening production of the company’s 50th anniversary season this fall. Directed by Douglas Hodge, the dark, comedic drama will begin previews on September 17 for an opening night of October 15 at a theatre yet to be determined.

> Bruce Willis and Elizabeth Marvel are set to star in Misery, a new play based on the novel by Stephen King coming to Broadway this fall. Written for the stage by William Goldman (Oscar-winning writer of The Princess Bride and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), the drama about a novelist held captive by his biggest fan will be produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Castle Rock Entertainment and Raymond Wu. Directed by Will Frears, the production will mark Willis’ Broadway debut. Dates and theatre location have yet to be announced.

Marylouiseparker> Manhattan Theatre Club announced that Mary-Louise Parker will star in the company’s Off-Broadway production of Heisenberg, a new play by Simon Stephens, author of the current acclaimed Broadway hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Stephens’ play, about two strangers’ chance encounter at a crowded London train station, will begin previews on May 19 and open on June 3 at New York City Center Stage II under the direction of Mark Brokaw.     

(Hamilton: Joan Marcus)


Darren Criss Will Return To Broadway In 'Hedwig And The Angry Inch'

Criss

Earlier today we reported that John Cameron Mitchell has extended his run as Hedwig on Broadway through April. Now comes news that Darren Criss will don the East German's golden locks as he makes his return to Broadway in the Tony-award winning musical, taking over for Mitchell after he wraps his return to the stage in the role he created. Variety reports:

“Glee” star Criss looks poised to help sustain business at “Hedwig” with a fan base that turned out in droves for his last stint on the Main Stem. In 2012 he appeared in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” for a three-week run that kept the revival’s weekly sales well above the million dollar mark in a post-holiday time period that usually slows sales at shows across the board.

Neil Patrick Harris launched the Broadway revival of “Hedwig” with a Tony-winning turn that was followed by Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall and Mitchell. Hall has temporarily returned to the show for a weeklong run while Mitchell recovers from a knee injury he sustained during a recent performance.

Criss stars in “Hedwig” for a 12-week run that starts April 29 and stretches into the summertime months, when New York City tourism keeps Broadway sales robust. Mitchell, back in the show Feb. 24, exits “Hedwig” April 26.

We can now begin counting down to when we will see promotional stills of Criss in Hedwig's glittery make-up. 

Will you be flocking to see Criss in Hedwig?


Evan Rachel Wood and Darren Criss Star in Gender-Swapped Parody of 'Big' - VIDEO

Big

Turns out Tom Hanks' 1989 classic film Big conveniently left out some of the moral and legal quandaries of pursuing a relationship with a magical child. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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What To Watch This Week on TV: MacLaine Guests On 'Glee;' 'Drag Race' Hilarity - VIDEO

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— That's Jason Sudeikis underneath that wig (with the chest hair poking out) on this Thursday's season finale of Portlandia, 10 p.m. Eastern on IFC. Out musician k.d. lang also shows up for the feminist getaway, hosted by Toni (Carrie Brownstein) and Candace (Fred Armisen), proprietors of Women and Women First bookstore.

More picks and clips, including one of the most hilarious Drag Race mini-challenges in herstory, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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