Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Tale Of Three Musicals (Television Review: The Read Through, SMASH S02 E05

Wasn't it just last week when I was lamenting that this season thus far there has been less of the great production numbers in SMASH?  Well, the musical gods heard me, as this week's episode, "The Read Through" opened with a production number, "Public Relations." And even if it featured the dreadful Karen as Marilyn, it had Christian Borle in multiple roles(!) and it had great choreography, even an airplane as a prop. It was quite wonderful and it reminded me of what I loved most about this show. And as far as episodes go, this one was very very good. (I haven't said that in a while) It was more or less focused, it set up story lines, and it was entertaining. 

First, on "Bombshell." Julia has finished her revised draft, and she is  ecstatic about it. But then she sees Jon Robert Baitz and he plants a doubt in her head by saying he knew someone who worked with Peter the Dramaturgist before and he double-crossed said person. Tom is doubting him, too. So Julia is doubting herself: did she do a good revision of the book? They are having a read through to find out. It turns out that it's not bad, it's very good. So you would think all systems go, right? Jerry, the "new" producer, will not produce it because it's too good. Just like Follies, Ragtime, and Sunday In The Park With George, he thinks its a curse. But he will still produce the show, though, with a different book - a previous version that Tom gave him. Eileen is the tie-braker. Which version does she prefer? Cliffhanger. 

Next, on "The Hit List," Jimmy and Kyle's musical. I cannot get myself interested in this storyline. Maybe because it's Karen's. It looks like Derek has pulled strings to get the musical in the Winter Fringe Festival, but Kyle's book is untested. So they invite friends, and it turns out that the book stinks, so they decide to make the show sung-through. The only interesting thing in this plot development is the possibility of West Taylor and Andy Mientus hooking up - they have great chemistry. 

Last, on "Liaisons," which is the musical Ivy is working on. So glad to see Megan Hilty do things on her own, away from Karen. The star of her show is played by Sean Hayes, and of course, Sean Hayes plays the character just like any of his characters: like 'Just Jack.' This is funny, and infinitely more interesting than karen and Company's shenanigans, and always good to see Veanne Cox. But right now, I kind of wonder why this story line exists. 

So ther eyou go, I was tired last night, and the show really perked me up after. It kind of made me adrenalized and I slept late.

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