A stage adaptation of the TV series “Smash” is aiming for Broadway, producers Steven Spielberg, Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron announced a day after the first-ever streaming (below) of the 2015 concert of “Bombshell,” the fictional musical about Marilyn Monroe that the characters were putting together in the first season of “Smash” plus a Zoom reunion of the cast.
Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote over two dozen songs for the television show will provide the score. The musical’s book will be co-written by Bob Martin (The Prom, The Drowsy Chaperone) and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher). “Smash’s” Emmy-winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse will do the same for the musical.
No cast or dates have been announced, although they do say the musical will focus on the storyline of creating the musical “Bombshell,” about Marilyn Monroe, and the show’s fictional creators Julia and Tom (who were portrayed in the television series by Debra Messing and Christian Borle) will be in the musical, as will the two competing stars, Ivy and Karen (portrayed in the series by Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee.) But it “will depart liberally from the series.” I’m going to file this in Department of Exciting News, Division of Grain of Salt.
Exciting because, for the two seasons that it lasted, from February 2012 – May 2013, “Smash” was theater lovers’ most talked-about TV series (Ok, maybe just for the first season.) This is not to say it was universally beloved; some ridiculed it. But just recall: Leslie Odom Jr was in the cast of Smash, before he was in Hamilton. Christian Borle, Jeremy Jordan, Krysta Rodriguez, Megan Hilty all became familiar names.
Admit it, it’s comforting to see the cast back again. Below the video, a timeline of links about the series.
Jonathan Mandell: Is your character Ellis Tancharoen going to sing in Smash?
Jaime Cepero: You’ll have to stay tuned…. 😉
Jonathan Mandell: Ok, different question: Smash doesn’t even begin until Monday.Has your life changed since you were cast in it? If so, how so?
Jaime Cepero: Hmm… From waiting tables to playing patty cake with Anjelica Houston? I think that about sums it up!
Will Smash change New York theater the way it’s already changed Jaime Cepero’s life? Well, no. But it will be interesting to see if it becomes popular, and, maybe, down the road, creates some new theatergoers. “It used to be ‘theater’ was a dirty word on TV. It’s like you couldn’t do politics on TV until ‘West Wing,” said Neil Meron, one of Smash’s producers. On the other hand: “It was very important to us that half of the piece was authentic to American musical theater, and that the rest be truly universal for an audience…We want an audience that says ‘I’m not really interested in Broadway.” (February 1, 2012)
Smash, the new NBC TV series about the making of a Broadway musical, is well-timed for theater people, both because it’s on Mondays (their standard day off), and because it starts in February, a supposedly fallow period for Broadway (February 5, 2012)