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On The Contrary:

Musicals can exist fully without your TV

February 17, 2010|By Richard Tafilaw

With the popularity of the Disney Channel’s “High School Musical” and Fox Network’s “Glee,” here’s an idea that may have slipped under your radar — you can attend live music programs at our two high schools that will match the quality of the TV shows, note for note, featuring authentic, iPod-carrying high school kids with acne and everything!

Wow, what a concept! OK, maybe they don’t have hundred-thousand-dollar contracts and they’re not 20-somethings pretending to be 15, but they do a mighty respectable job at a bargain price. It could well be worth your while.

Of course you’re going to have to put down the remote control, soda pop and chocolate-covered pretzels, raise yourself up off the sofa, put on some pants, possibly interact with other human beings (optional) and forgo an evening’s worth of commercials, but, hey, nobody said this was going to be painless. Sorry, no, they cannot bring it to your house.


I don’t care if you have the best sound system on Earth, nothing will compare to a live performance, so be prepared to get blown away. Of course, there’s bound to be a little flub or misstep here or there; it’s hard to edit this stuff on the fly, but trust me, it won’t kill you.

And another thing, there is nothing anywhere that can top the sheer energy of it all — those are genuine, four weeks’ worth of rehearsal dance steps that you’ll be seeing, and that shiny moisture you notice up on the foreheads isn’t sprayed on by makeup people — that’s bona-fide human perspiration typically associated with intense physical activity.

Now, apparently the phrase “glee club” was deemed far too complicated and difficult to remember, so several years ago some savant came up with the new, far catchier “vocal music association,” but don’t worry, it’s pretty much the same thing. Both Burbank and John Burroughs high schools have them, and they are quite impressive, to say the least.

You know, there’s just something about the “roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd” that can’t quite be duplicated in a movie theater, high-definition video or the latest rage, 3-D. The vibe is immediate, and you become part of it. Your feet begin tapping, your head starts bobbing, and before you know it you’re foolishly singing along, but no one notices because they’re all doing it, too.

Even though you weren’t up on the stage, as you walk out the door at the end of the evening when the breeze hits your face, you feel like you just ran a marathon, you’re drained, exhausted from the power of it all and totally exhilarated. What the heck, it’s 10 p.m., but let’s all go get a cheeseburger somewhere!

The Burroughs Pop Show runs Thursday through Sunday, and the Burbank show is May 20 through 22. Who knows, you might even find yourself in the shower the next morning belting out an absolutely killer version of “Can’t Stop Believing” to a half-empty bottle of shampoo. Hey, it could happen.

Get in touch RICHARD J. TAFILAW is a Burbank resident, small business owner and freelance writer. He can be reached at tafilaw@

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