Marc Shaiman Sets the Record Straight on All Things SMASH
NBC lowers the curtain on SMASH with the series finale tonight, May 26. In anticipation of the show's closing night, songwriter Marc Shaiman wrote an in-depth send-off titled "Goodbye, Norma Jean," detailing the thrills, frustrations and inner workings of writing songs for television.
"Well, the saga of SMASH, both on and off-screen, ends tonight. A lot of smart, talented (and in some cases, smart AND talented!) people were brought together to create a television show," Shaiman wrote. "Probably too many people. Yes, 'too many chefs' is the most succinct way to say what went wrong. But there was not a single soul working on the show who didn't want it to be great. Everyone just had a different idea of what that was."
"And NBC spent a LOT of money on SMASH. Unfortunately, this year that amount - compared to viewers tuning in - would have spelled instant cancellation on any other network, so it is not fair to say NBC should not have cancelled it. Now, if you wanna talk about micro-managing, that's a whole other story!...
"I suppose the greatest frustration Scott & I felt were how the actual moments in Marilyn Monroe's life that led us to write our songs were almost never explained in the episodes, which was a shame for it would have enriched the storylines of Tom & Julia and made many of our choices clearer and maybe made our songs more meaningful.
So, what follows is the story of why and how our songs were written. Newspapers, magazines and websites only seemed interested in the gossip behind the scenes, so I am using Facebook to put this info out there. So if you are interested, settle in, this is gonna take awhile!"
On SMASH's two-hour series finale, "The Nominations" and "The Tonys", it's a crucial moment for both shows as Tony nominations loom, but keeping your eye on the prize can be hard.
As Tom (Christian Borle) crosses an influential Tony Voter and Ivy (Megan Hilty) copes with some very distracting news, Derek's (Jack Davenport) past has repercussions for the entire 'Hit List' team. On Tony night, the awards might not provide the answers everyone is looking for. As Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) faces a final reckoning, Tom, Julia (Debra Messing), Derek (Jack Davenport), Karen (Katharine McPhee), Ivy, and most of all, Eileen (Anjelica Huston) wait to see if the ceremony will confirm their place in the Broadway pantheon once and for all. Rosie O'Donnell, Cheyenne Jackson, Ron Rifkin, and Bernadette Peters guest star.
SMASH is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire - to be a Broadway star.
The series stars Emmy Award winner Debra Messing ("Will & Grace"), Oscar winner Anjelica Huston ("Prizzi's Honor"), Jack Davenport ("Pirates of the Caribbean" films), Tony Award winner Christian Borle ("Peter and the Starcatcher"), Katharine McPhee ("American Idol"), Megan Hilty ("9 to 5: The Musical"), Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan ("Newsies"),Andy Mientus("Spring Awakening"), Leslie OdomJr. ("Leap of Faith") and Krysta Rodriguez ("Spring Awakening").