STAGE TUBE: Norbert Leo Butz Performs on SMASH
In the April 4 episode, entitled "Hell on Earth", the team begins their pursuit of a marquee star, as Eileen (Anjelica Huston) charges Tom and Julia (Christian Borle and Debra Messing) with finding a title for the newly reinvigorated musical. Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty) find themselves in competition again - this time for an orange juice commercial. Relationship troubles abound, as Frank (Brian d'Arcy James) makes an unwelcome discovery. Jack Davenport, Raza Jaffrey and Jaime Cepero also star along with guest star Norbert Leo Butz as himself.
SMASH centers on the complex and all-consuming process behind the production of an original Broadway musical. Successful songwriting duo and old friends Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) reunite to realise their dream of adapting the life story of screen icon Marilyn Monroe into a hit musical; recruiting tenacious producer Eileen (Anjelica Huston) and brilliant director Derek (Jack Davenport) to bring the production to the stage.
Casting of the title role sparks conflict and rivalry between Karen (Katharine McPhee), a youthful, inexperienced beauty desperate to find fame in the big city, and Ivy (Megan Hilty), a stage veteran determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. From its genesis, the "Marilyn" project is a rollercoaster ride of dramatic highs and lows for its cast and crew that will culminate on opening night, when the audience will determine whether or not the show is a "Smash".
The show was developed by NBC's Robert Greenblatt, Steven Spielberg, and Broadway producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Broadway's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote the music for the show. Michael Mayer directed the project, and playwright Theresa Rebeck penned the script.
SMASH airs Mondays at 10pm on NBC.