Have you recovered yet from last week’s intense, fear- and tear-filled episode of Glee? If not, tonight’s should have helped — it was full of the typical Glee humor, emotion, and pithy one-liners. Honestly, it had a bit of a Season One vibe, didn’t it? And that can never be a bad thing. Let’s recap what happened tonight during ‘Sweet Dreams.’
Ms. Rachel Berry’s focus during this hour was fully on her impending audition for the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. She reminded us that the musical has never been revived since its original run because it’s nigh on impossible for anyone to fill the legendary shoes of Barbra Streisand. Rachel’s determined to be the first.
Knowing that Fanny Brice is “the King Lear of musical theater,” Rachel delves deep into Ms. Streisand’s repertoire for her audition song. But her preparations are interrupted by a surprise visitor: her biological momma, Shelby! Turns out that after leaving McKinley in disgrace when Quinn found out about her affair with Puck, Shelby moved to NYC and set up shop running a Broadway daycare. This involves not only looking after the children of Broadway stars while they rehearse and perform, but teaching those children music and dance. (I bet someone could actually make a killing doing this — is it a real thing yet??)
Shelby discourages Rachel from performing anything Streisand-related for her audition. When Babs was discovered for Funny Girl, she was an unknown-but-talented Jewish girl who was picked because she was one of a kind. So Rachel has to be equally unique — she won’t be cast for pretending to be someone else. That’s some sage advice from someone who once engaged in a prolonged fling with the mohawked seventeen-year-old biological father of her adopted infant.
What’s the best way for Shelby to show Rachel the kind of song she should be considering for her audition? By singing it with her, of course! So the mother/daughter team grace us with a duet by Scottish singer Emeli Sandé. They really do sound terrific together, don’t they?
Next page: The reprise of an iconic Glee moment.