Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smash Into Us

"Smash" is smashing. While some people have compared it to "Glee," this show is more adult, more promising, and more Broadway-centric. Written by Theresa Rybeck and directed by John Mayer (both represented on Broadway right now by "Seminar," and "On A Clear Day" respectively) the creators of this series clearly love The Great White Way, and it shows. The concept of the series is that for every season, the audience gets to how a show on Broadway gets created, from the artistic side to the commercial side, including casting, staging, and promoting it. Debra Messing and Christian Borle play the creative team, and Anjelica Houston plays the producer, and for the first year, they are mounting a show based on Marilyn Monroe - "Marilyn, The Musical," as it were. Marc Shaiman does the original music, and the songs range from good to great, but maybe that is part of the process. Things go fast on the pilot, and by the end of the episode we get a director is brilliant but may be difficult to work with, and they have a big decision to make - whether to give the role of Marilyn to a brilliant neophyte (Katherine McPhee) or the Broadway veteran (Megan Hilty) Characters aren't fully fleshed out yet so we cannot determine who the heros and heroines yet (and who the villains are) but it sure looks like the audience will have a ball finding out. I am excited for the series, and I thought the acting is universally great. I love Debra Messing, and even in the little she was given to do in the pilot, Anjelica Houston commands presence. And Katherine McPhee is a revelation. I have always had a soft spot for her as a singer, and she has only gotten better, and as an actress, she may well surprise everyone. I cannot wait till this airs weekly, and I hope it smashes into people's livings rooms. Thank you, NBC for bringing a little slice of Broadway to network television.  

Television Review: "Smash" NBC

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