With Broadway dark and the Tonys postponed for the foreseeable future, musical theater lovers could definitely use a bit of good news right now: Smash, A New Musical, based on the cult-favorite television series, is headed to Broadway.
"Smash," which aired for two seasons on NBC, followed the cast, crew and producers of the fictional Marilyn Monroe bio-musical, Bombshell, as they worked to get it mounted on the Great White Way. The show featured original songs, primarily for Bombshell, the focus of the first season, and Hit List, a scrappy rival that goes toe-to-toe with it at the Tonys in the series finale.
Much of the creative team that worked on the television series is transferring to the Broadway production: producer Steven Spielberg (who's lately been at work on a major film adaptation of West Side Story), songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and choreographer Joshua Bergasse, who won an Emmy for his choreography for the show's first season. The director has yet to be announced.
Though much is being kept under wraps, what has been shared about the plot indicates that rather than simply mounting Bombshell, Smash will still be a show about making a show, focusing on lyricist-composer duo Julia and Tom (played by Debra Messing and Christian Borle in the series) and rival stars-in-the-making Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Karen (Katharine McPhee).
It's not the first time we've heard talk about "Smash" making the leap to Broadway. There was an announcement that Bombshell was in the works as a stage musical after the original cast reunited in 2015 for a one-night-only concert of its songs, the filming of which was streamed for the first time earlier this week to raise money for The Actors Fund. The project seemed to have fizzled out, though in 2018 Robert Greenblatt, who is a lead producer alongside Spielberg and Neil Meron on this new venture, said that some sort of stage adaptation was very much still in the cards. After the excitement of this week's stream, there's certainly momentum for the show to go all the way once Broadway's back in business.
No production dates have been announced, but we're already dreaming of the original cast finding its way to the Broadway production at some point: Hilty and McPhee, of course, but what about Leslie Odom Jr., who (pre-Hamilton!) played a chorus member in the show, or Jeremy Jordan, who was introduced in Season 2 as an aspiring songwriter?