ENTERTAINMENT

'Smash' Musical Based On Beloved TV Series Is Finally Heading To Broadway

Steven Spielberg is developing a musical adaptation of the NBC series for the stage.

Cut, print, moving to Broadway! The long-awaited “Smash” musical is finally happening. 

Much like the dueling stars at the center of NBC’s cult musical series, which chronicled among other things the backstage drama behind a Marilyn Monroe musical, “Smash” was always meant for The Great White Way.

Now, seven years after the TV series took its final bow, producer Steven Spielberg and company are developing a live stage adaptation, featuring many of the original songs written by the famed Grammy-winning duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Spielberg, along with producers Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron, are ushering a new musical to the stage that will “generally follow the rollercoaster ride of mounting ‘Bombshell,’” the production at the center of the two-season TV series, according to a press release. 

Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn and Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright in the "Smash" series finale. 
Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn and Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright in the "Smash" series finale. 

But don’t expect the Broadway version to hit all the same notes. It will “depart liberally from the series” in many respects, the statement said.

Still, the general storyline will remain somewhat intact, following the hopefully scarfless hijinks of fictional writers, played by Debra Messing and Christian Borle in the TV series, and their attempt to give the famed blonde bombshell her due on Broadway.

The Marilyns who are fighting for the lead role (portrayed by Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee onscreen) will “still be central to the storyline” and belt out the show-stopping number “Let Me Be Your Star.” But other details are “being kept under wraps,” according to the release.

“I am personally thrilled to be a part of this musical and its road to Broadway,” Spielberg said in a statement, per Variety. "‘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. I’m beyond thrilled to be working with this incredible creative team and my producing partners, who began the ‘Smash’ journey with me over ten years ago.”

The cast of "Smash" Season one. 
The cast of "Smash" Season one. 

The Broadway musical’s book will be co-written by Bob Martin and Rick Elice, according to Variety, with the show’s original choreographer Joshua Bergasse also returning.

Although the TV series was unceremoniously canceled after a much-retooled and poorly received final season, fans have remained enthusiastic. In 2015, the cast and crew put together a one-night-only concert of the songs, with tickets selling out in 15 minutes. 

On Wednesday, the concert was streamed as an Actors Fund benefit with the stars coming together for a post-show virtual reunion.

Given the current Broadway shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s unclear when the new “Smash” musical will debut. But at this point, nothing could dim this star. 

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