Official: Musical Version of SMASH is Being Adapted for Broadway
Broadway is about to get meta...
SMASH is setting its sights on Broadway with a creative dream team and an official title of SMASH, A New Musical. The news was announced today by Steven Spielberg, Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron who will serve as lead producers. They are developing a live stage adaptation inspired by the NBC series of the same name on which they all worked together.
This news comes just after last night's broadcast of Bombshell, the show within Smash. You can watch the full concert here!
The Tony and Grammy-winning duo of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote over two dozen songs for the television show will provide the score. The musical's book will be co-written by two of Broadway's most seasoned craftsmen, Tony winner Bob Martin (The Prom, The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony-nominated Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher). "Smash's" Emmy-winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse will reprise his role for the stage musical.
"I am personally thrilled to be a part of this musical and its road to Broadway," said Steven Spielberg whose original idea led to the NBC series. "'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."
Neil Meron added, "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."
Many of the songs that Shaiman and Wittman wrote for SMASH including the Emmy- nominated "Let Me Be Your Star" will be used in the stage musical. While the story will generally follow the rollercoaster ride of mounting Bombshell (the Broadway musical-within- the-musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe), the stage musical will depart liberally from the series. The characters Julia and Tom (the writers), as well as Ivy and Karen (the stars) will still be central to the storyline, but all other details are being kept under wraps.
"Smash" was groundbreaking in its ambitiousness and developed a rabid following, but its popularity has only grown in the following years. The cast performed an elaborate benefit concert of the songs from Bombshell at the Minskoff Theatre in June of 2015 which sold out in fifteen minutes. It was filmed but never shown until this week, when it was streamed in its entirety as a corona virus benefit for The Actors Fund.
The critically-acclaimed show debuted in 2012 to raves from The Los Angeles Time ("A triumph"), The San Francisco Chronicle ("It's so good you can't help wondering why no one thought of it before"), The Hollywood Reporter ("Excellent, a bar-raiser for broadcast networks and superior to 'Glee'"), and The Huffington Post ("One of the strongest new shows of the season") among many others.
Meron has collaborated previously with Shaiman and Wittman, first on the motion picture of their musical Hairspray starring John Travolta, as well as on the NBC live adaptation starring Harvey Fierstein. Meron and Greenblatt are also currently working with them on the upcoming musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot which is scheduled to open on Broadway in the fall of 2021.
And the songwriters previously adapted another Steven Spielberg property for Broadway, the musical Catch Me If You Can, which was based on his 2002 hit film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Their other musicals include Mary Poppins Returns (Oscar-nominated), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Shaiman is also an Emmy winner and seven-time Oscar nominee.
Rick Elice is co-writer of the mega-hit Jersey Boys, as well as The Addams Family, The Cher Show, and Peter and the Starcatcher. Bob Martin began his Broadway career both starring in and writing the book (Tony Award) for The Drowsy Chaperone. He co-wrote the book to the musical The Prom and co-created the television series "Slings and Arrows." Martin and Elice are currently adapting The Princess Bride as a musical for Broadway.
Since SMASH Joshua Bergasse has become a frequent choreographer on Broadway where he was nominated for the Tony Award for his elaborate ballets in the recent revival of On The Town. He collaborated with Shaiman and Wittman as choreographer for their musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and also did the revival of Lerner & Lowe's Gigi starring Vanessa Hudgins.
Theresa Rebeck was the creator and Executive Producer of "Smash." Executive producers also included Steven Spielberg, Neil Meron and the late Craig Zadan, Shaiman and Wittman, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, and Joshua Safran. It was produced by Universal Television in association with Dreamworks Television and Storyline Productions.
Development of SMASH, A New Musical is underway; no production dates are being announced at this time.
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