Grey's Anatomy: The Supersecret Live Musical

Find out how Shonda Rhimes convinced ABC to let her bring singing and dancing to Seattle Grace

By Marc Malkin Mar 14, 2011 7:45 PMTags
Grey's Anatomy, Kevin McKiddABC

You'd think Shonda Rhimes would be allowed to do whatever she wanted to do with Grey's Anatomy.

But no. Even Ms. Rhimes had to prove to ABC executives that a musical episode of her hit primetime drama was worth doing before they'd give her the greenlight.

So, how'd she do it? Read on to find out...

"We had to show the heads of ABC Studios what the idea was all about," Kevin McKidd told me yesterday at John Varvatos' eighth annual Stuart House benefit in West Hollywood. "We set it up at the studio and made it like a mini-theater and presented a truncated version of the episode as a live performance."

McKidd pulled double duty for the presentation. "I love playing guitar and I love singing," he said, "so I was given the job to round up a band because I know a lot of session musicians in Los Angeles. I ended up having to be the guitarist as well as having to sing."

And as much as McKidd is modest about his musical prowess, it turns out he's got quite the background. Not only did he have a number in the Mike Leigh film Topsy-Turvy, but he was pretty darn close to belting it out on stage courtesy of the man who gave the world Phantom of the Opera. "I developed a musical with Andrew Lloyd Webber called The Woman in White," McKidd said. "But I got offered [HBO's] Rome so I did that instead. So I've been around the musical thing. I've dipped my toe in a bit but I haven't quite dived in the pool yet.

"I sing a little in the episode but this is very much Sara Ramírez's moment to shine," he continued. "We're all kind of basking in her shadow."

Not a bad shadow to bask in, that's for sure.

Also at yesterday's Stuart House benefit were event hosts Patrick Dempsey and wife Jillian along with Jayma Mays, Jesse Williams, David Schwimmer, Eva La Rue, Zoe Saldana and Trevor Donovan, among others. More than $500,000 was raised for Stuart House, which provides support, care and protection of sexually abused children.