A Broadway Musical Based NBC's Smash Is in the Works

Smash, NBC's two-season musical drama about the making of a Broadway musical, is now in the works as a stage musical.

By Chris Harnick May 21, 2020 12:45 PMTags
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Smash lives again! Sort of. The NBC musical drama, which followed the making of a Broadway musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe and that lasted just two seasons, is in the works as a new Broadway stage musical.

The news comes a day after the 2015 charity concert of the musical within musical streamed for audiences as a fundraiser for The Actors Fund. A real stage version of Bombshell, Smash's Marilyn Monroe musical, was previously announced as in the works. For Smash, A New Musical, Steven Spielberg, Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron are producing. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who worked on the TV show, are songwriters. Rick Elice and Bob Martin are writing the book and Joshua Bergasse, the TV show's Emmy-winning choreographer, is taking on that role for the stage show.

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"I am personally thrilled to be a part of this musical and its road to Broadway," Spielberg, who was an executive producer on the NBC series, said in a statement. "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."

Smash starred Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Anjelica Huston and Jack Davenport. McPhee played a Broadway ingenue and Hilty a stage veteran, both vying for the role of Marilyn Monroe.

"Speaking for myself and Bob Greenblatt, our partner when he was running NBC, we're thrilled Steven wanted to embark on this musical with us. We've all felt that Shaiman and Wittman's incredible score for Smash belonged on Broadway. Collaborating with first-class bookwriters Rick Elice and Bob Martin, and the world's best choreographer Josh Bergasse, will be the icing on the cake," Meron said in a statement.

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Many of the songs Shaiman and Wittman wrote for Smash, including the most famous number "Let Me Be Your Star," will be used in the new stage musical. According to a press release, the story will follow the ups and downs of getting Bombshell to Broadway, the stage version of Smash will "depart liberally from the series." However, the characters Julia and Tom (the writers played by Messing and Borle in the series), as well as Ivy and Karen (the stars going for the part played by Hilty and McPhee in the TV series) will still be central to the storyline. All other details are being kept under wraps.

No production dates are being announced yet.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)