I returned to Fairfield earlier this week to catch this year’s glee club pops concert. I had missed the gala — at that point, I didn’t really feel like going — but it was pretty easy for me to switch my hours around, so I did it! The theme this year was Glee Club Goes Hollywood, with songs from movies, which had plenty of great offerings.

And again, like when I returned for the Christmas concert, and even when I came for that overnight last September and stayed with James and Mike, I had that feeling — I’m so glad that I’m out of college, tinged with a tiny bit of I’m beyond this. I don’t mean that in a snobby way, even though it sounds snobby. It just seemed like everyone was in their bubble, everyone was hardcore, and from the view of an outsider, I’m just….done.

It took me a while to get into it. It reminded me of every other pops concert I’ve been in and all the details that I had forgotten about — that for most of the concert, you’re sitting, trying to pay attention to the divas, the humble girls, and the first-time performers who choose a song that is safe, but, inevitably, boring. (I know, I know, I have fit into this category nearly every time, even when choosing songs that would seem more entertaining, like Space Oddity, but really weren’t.)

But then you get to the GREAT performances, the ones that are funny, or just great performances, but always genuinely entertaining, and THAT is what makes this concert so great! I was delighted to see Dwight singing this year (he’s in a weird position because he’s technically a Columbia student now in the 3/2 engineering program with Fairfield), and he came out singing “Arabian Nights” from Aladdin!! It was hilarious. He was in a turban and a robe, he got so goofy with the lyrics, and halfway through it, two girls came out as Arabian dancers (and not even in a slutty way!)! He was great, and that definitely made it one of my favorite performances.

And then there was the Men’s Ensemble, who are always great, and they did a great a capella version of Afternoon Delight, dressed up as the Anchorman guys in weird suits, with Colin in the middle in a cowboy hat as Champ. (James, for the record, I think your gray suit looked AWESOME and PERFECT for that!)

I loved Kait Curran and Michael Verrusio’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight, and then the whole glee club surged into the Circle of Life, complete with a guy coming out draped in animal skins, singing, “Haaaaaaaaaaaat swaynaaaaaaaaaaa…..” A bunch of the sophomore girls, including some of my friends from last year, did a great version of the Cell Block Tango from Chicago that you could see they spent a lot of time choreographing. Most performances that girls plan to choreograph end up not working out or being halfhearted, but theirs was fantastic.

If there was any caveat I had in general, it was the same caveat I’ve always had — WAY TOO MUCH BROADWAY. There’s very little Broadway that I can handle, and it seems that at every concert, half of the songs are from Broadway (especially amongst the theatre kids). It somehow fits into every theme. This concert had songs from Chicago, the Lion King, RENT, Footloose, Beauty and the Beast….and The Little Mermaid is an upcoming Broadway musical, I guess that counts.

But we’ve had that every year. The British Invasion concert, the 80s concert, the New York/Broadway concert was ENTIRELY THAT, and even the 40s/50s/60s/70s concert before that — they all had plenty of Broadway offerings, and I’ve always tried to stomach it the best I can.

But there were a bunch more performances that I loved. Joe Duffy did a great version of Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid, and his backup singers were great. (He dressed up in red and Jamaican clothes, to evoke Sebastian, and that reminded me that I always thought Sebastian was French when I was little.) Wendy Scola did a great version of Colors of the Wind, and I have never heard her sing on her own before, but she did such a great job! Tim King and his concave stomach (damn!) performed Johnny B. Goode with Tony da Costa, and those guys always do such a great job, as they did this year. And Alex and A.J. did Mrs. Robinson, which is enough of a joke in itself as Luke has always called them Simon and Garfunkel, but their voices sound JUST LIKE THEM, and they sounded great. It also helps that A.J. is the splitting image of Art Garfunkel. Then Erika Ludwig came out and reenacted a little scene from Walk the Line with Alex, and they sang, and again, they sounded really great.

It was great seeing people, but I didn’t see as many fellow alums as I would have liked. But I saw plenty of my friends (Tom, the new pitch-giver, told me I was sorely needed), and got to talk with Galen and Carole Ann, and just see everyone, including a newly engaged Dave and Marcy (and that enormous diamond on her finger!). And afterward, I went out with Amy and Jay and Matt and some more of their crew. It was so good to see Amy! I’ve missed her a lot.

When I came earlier in the day, James made his signature rotini with chicken, tomatoes and fresh basil, and it was delicious. It was great hanging out with my favorite guys as well. As usual, I fell asleep at a ridiculously early hour (I’m on an actual sleep schedule for the first time ever!), and woke up to drive James to his car, which he was too drunk to drive back from the beach the night before and was driven back to the townhouses by someone random and sober. LOL.

All in all, I think that’s the overall experience.

Wait, one more thing!

Galen told me that the glee club is going to Prague, Vienna and Budapest next year. I first chided James for not telling me anything, then just started gushing about how much I love Prague and Budapest. I’ve never been to Vienna. That will be such an awesome trip for them. Galen floated the idea of me joining them again, but I know that would never happen. After the Italy trip, I really wished that I had done it my own (INSANELY CHEAPER) way, staying in hostels that don’t require you to take a cab to get to the city center, and wouldn’t have to go through all those tours.

Even if I did it my own, cheap way, I wouldn’t want to go on this trip, either. I’m done, and it’s fine. It was good while I was in college.

I’m not sure if I’ll be going to any more concerts. I guess there’s a possibility, especially if they do a Boston trip, which they tend to do every other year. But I’ve now been out for a year, and I live in Boston. I don’t want to end up like Stewie (who was at the pops concert, by the way).

So, overall….yeah. This is it.

I’ve got to get going, because this is my one day off, and next week is hell week at work. They’re offering a huge incentive for overtime, so I am working Monday 11-3, Tuesday-Friday 8:30-7, and Saturday 9-5:30. Yikes. Gotta rest up extra hard.