In Texas, a Real-Life 'Glee' Unfolds -- With a Twist

"At one point, she came to for a minute, and her eyes lit up and she smiled and said, 'OK babies' -- which is what she always said at the end of every rehearsal -- 'OK babies, time to go home,' or 'OK babies, great job tonight,'" said Redlinger. "And then she cried and we sat at her bedside and held her hand. It was heart wrenching but truly a moving moment, and I will never forget that. It will stick with me the rest of my life. We loved her, we loved her."

With Shaw gone, what would happen to the show she had dreamed of directing? The answer was obvious: The show would go on.

"You know, they pay tribute to stars who pass away," said Biddle, who took over as director of the theater. "Lynn was a star here for so many people, so to be the one to bring it all to the stage is beyond an honor. To know that her family wanted me to be the one to do it is pretty amazing."

One by one, alumni put their lives on hold and came from New York, California and elsewhere to take the stage ... and be 15 again.

One of the first to show up was Anne Stone. She's now a stay-at-home mom with two kids.

"February 1992 is the last time I did this number on this stage," said Stone.

Stone was ready to reprise her role as "Val" in "A Chorus Line" ... on one condition.

"She was the first person on board and she said, 'Do I have to wear a leotard?'" said Biddle. "And when I said no, she said, 'I'll do it.'"

Real-Life 'Glee': Showtime

On the day of the show, a final dress rehearsal was under way.

"The gods of theater are smiling down on me," said Biddle.

Although with just four hours to go, it looked like the gods of theater might not be looking down on this performance.

The theater's boiler broke. Not every number was coming together. Then performer John Herzog's flight from Salt Lake City arrived late -- giving two old friends little time to rehearse a song they hadn't performed in six years.

"Every time something happens on stage, I can hear Lynn yelling in my head how to do it better," said Herzog. "This is her stage. And I know that she's watching down and saying, 'Thank you.'"

As show time drew near, emotions were running high.

"In August, when we lost Lynn," said Biddle, "we said we still have to do this because we have to honor everything that she did. And every single person still said, 'Of course, we'll be there.' And that's what this is about. This is not about us. This is about her and everything she did."

"It is hard, just realizing that she's gone and how much she meant to so many of us," said performer Lauren Briant, tears running down her face. "But it's cool to see the impact she had."

In the end, the performance came off as well as Shaw might have dreamed. The company played to a full house -- despite one very empty seat.

Over the seat was a red velvet cover with an embroidered legend: "Reserved -- Lynn 'Zed' Shaw."

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