"Glee" is now a bona fide phenomenon, credited with inspiring a resurgent interest in musical theater among young people and singled out for praise by no less influential critics than the Obamas.
The photographer Todd Heisler spent five days in August, documenting the show at a studio lot and at two Los Angeles-area high schools.
Left, Matthew Morrison and members of the cast of “Glee” channel Britney Spears and Bob Fosse.
The show’s appeal is widespread, because so are its characters’ fantasies: that when they put their minds, voices and feet to it, they can slough off their awkwardness and shine like the gaudiest stars. Left, Chris Colfer plays Kurt Hummel, a gay student in the fictional Ohio high-school glee club.
Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson) gets a touch up before dancing and singing to Britney Spears's "Toxic." Spears will have a guest appearance in one of the new season's episodes. Her video oeuvre will also be well represented, as the "Glee" club poses and preens in sequences taken from Britney’s greatest hits.
In the wings during a take of "Toxic."
Dianna Agron and Mark Salling (with Amber Riley and Harry Shum Jr. in background).
The script for Episode 202, "Britney/Brittany."
Singer Charice, who joins Season 2 as a foreign-exchange student.
The wardrobe for Jane Lynch's character, in all its polyester-blend glory.
Matthew Morrison, cooling off between takes.
Stills from the Britney Spears video “Me Against the Music,” which the production team used as a template for its own re-creation.
Heather Morris, who plays Brittany on the show, takes a break on the studio lot where "Glee" is shot in Los Angeles.
Matthew Morrison on set.
Lea Michele as Rachel Berry
Extras hit their marks for the ". . . Baby One More Time" performance.
Cast members on set. From left, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison, Harry Shum Jr., Amber Riley and Jenna Ushkowitz.
Heather Morris as Britney in a dream-sequence homage to "Me Against the Music."
Ryan Murphy, a creator of "Glee" and the director of the Britney episode.
Jane Lynch as the wonderfully evil Sue Sylvester.
Lea Michele and Cory Monteith between takes.
Moving wardrobe on set.
Kevin McHale as Artie Abrams, a disabled student, between shots for a dream sequence set to the Britney Spears song "Stronger."