Seven years after going off the air, Smash is headed to Broadway, we think. Though the TV show was cancelled after two seasons, theater fans couldn’t get enough of it, and honestly, for good reason.
If you haven’t watched this show yet (go binge it right now!) Smash is a show about the making of a fictitious musical about Marilyn Monroe’s life entitled Bombshell. There are two young women competing for the lead role and we get to watch the process of a show from its inception to Broadway. Every episode is essentially a mini-musical about the making of a musical. It’s kind of like Glee on steroids.
It seemed that as soon as it went off the air, people couldn’t stop talking about it, celebrating it, and reviving it. In 2015, the Actors Fund put on a one-night-only concert version of Bombshell and it sold out within an hour. This caught the attention of Universal Stage Productions, and they promptly announced that they would bring Bombshell to Broadway. As of now, Bombshell has not made it to Broadway… Then in 2018 there was talk of rebooting Smash for television. So far, no Smash reboot. Then in 2019, about one year ago, there were some rumblings about Smash coming to Broadway. It has appeared from time to time on “in development” lists since then, but hadn’t seem to pick up any steam. Until May 20, 2020.
On May 20, PeopleTV (#blessed) replayed the 2015 Actors Fund Bombshell concert and hosted a special livestream of a cast reunion after. What was so special about it? They announced that Smash was making its way to Broadway.
So, should we believe the hype? MAYBE. One big difference is that this time Steven Spielberg, who was a producer on the TV show, announced that he will stay on for the stage adaptation. “I am personally thrilled to be part of this musical and its road to Broadway,” the famed director noted. “Smash is near and dear to my heart and it seems fitting that a new musical inspired by what we did on the show would eventually come to the stage. ” Karla Garcia, who is currently a swing on Hamilton but had a lead dance role on season two of Smash added that she didn’t think Spielberg would publicly comment if he weren’t pretty serious.
Further giving us hope is the fact that Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who were the main composers and lyricists of the TV show, will be part of the Broadway production. Their credits include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Catch Me If You Can, Mary Poppins Returns, and Hairspray. In other words, this isn’t their first rodeo.
The full storyline has not been announced yet, but there is talk of keeping original characters like Tom and Julia (originally played by Christian Borle and Debra Messing, respectively) as well as Ivy and Karen (Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee). No word on whether Hilty and/ or McPhee would reprise their roles if given the chance, but in our version of the world they are and they do — so the only question is: who do you think should play Marilyn Monroe?