It is the classic premise of a show within a show but with the grandeur and theatricality imparted by musicals, this is the NBC newly green-lit show “Smash”, which is clearly riding on the success of Fox’s “Glee” but is bravely venturing out in the small screen to create its own identity amidst all the other upcoming TV musical shows which are also banking on the winning formula of Ryan Murphy’s new show.
“Smash” chronicles the lives of theatric talents and their journey as they try to create a new musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe to be mounted in the Great White Way. On board as cast members for the NBC series are Megan Hilty and Debra Messing, both of whom have some serious musical and TV acting chops under their belts.
Megan Hilty is best remembered for her roles in the Broadway productions of “9 to 5” and “Wicked”. Debra Messing on the other hand is TV’s “Grace” in the Emmy Award winning comedy series “Will & Grace” and is USA’s “The Starter Wife”. She has also graced the stage via the Manhattan Theatre Club’s “Three Dogs and a Bone” and “Collected Stories”. She has also appeared in “The Naked Truth” produced by WPA. Hilty will be playing the role of the actress for the upcoming Marilyn Monroe inspired musical while Messing will be the musical’s lyricist, Julia. The role of Tom, the musical’s composer, is still yet to be cast.
Backing up the new TV musical series is Steven Spielberg as creator and executive producer, Broadway director Michael Mayer, best known for his Tony Award winning works in “Spring Awakening” and “American Idiot”, at the helm of the series’ pilot episode, Theresa Rebeck of “The Scene” and “Mauritius” fame penning the pilot’s story and script, and Tony Award winning composers Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman in charge of the series’ music and scores.
A definite air date for the pilot episode of “Smash” is yet to be announced.