SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- The "Glee" club went back to school, the real-life Santa Monica High School, for the world premiere of their new musical-comedy TV series.

As chilly ocean breezes blew in, they and hundreds of others gathered to watch the "Glee" pilot on a big screen in the school's amphitheater.

Lea Michele, who starred on Broadway in "Spring Awakening" and now co-stars in "Glee," found the night "really exciting."

"It's so great to finally get out and have everybody see it, and we all get to get dressed up with all of my friends and it's fantastic," she said Monday.

From "Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy, "Glee" follows a group of generally awkward but talented singers. Their fates appear to change with the arrival of a teacher (Matthew Morrison) eager to bring the school's glee club back to its old glory. Too bad there's a slew of other faculty members and students just as eager to see him fail. The show's cast includes Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley and Chris Colfer.

The pilot has yet to air, but it's already received the kind of press usually reserved for established hits: a full front page in the Sunday entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times, magazine spreads, numerous rave reviews.

The Fox network show makes its on-air debut 9 p.m. EDT May 19, following this season's penultimate "American Idol," and this "Glee" club definitely has a favorite among remaining contestants Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and Danny Gokey.

"You know what? I love Adam," said Michele. "I've known Adam for a while. I've known of Adam through the theater world. So, I'm a really big fan. I think Danny's amazing. So, I'd say it's going to be tight between the two of them."

"Adam," said Colfer.

"Love Adam," injected McHale, "because he's ridiculous. Danny is an amazing singer. I think Chris is a great musician. But Adam is just — he's loud, he's everything. Just to go see his concert would be crazy. He's an amazing, amazing singer."

"Adam is like the new Freddie Mercury meets — I don't know: genius," said Ushkowitz.