Last night, after watching every song, dance and rewrite NBC’s musical series “Smash” had its finale. When we opened, Katharine McPhee’s Karen, Megan Hilty’s Ivy and the whole cast and crew were in Boston for previews of “Bombshell”. And, after a peanut laced smoothie left Uma Therman’s A-list Marilyn benched, there was a question of who would step into the lead. Over the course of the season I was rooting for Karen. Even before the show started I was rooting for her, because I love Kat McPhee. I remember watching her lose to that old man on “American Idol” and just being totally devastated. So I guess this show down between her character and Megan Hilty’s brought back memories of that faithful 2006 Idol finale. I had suffered a relapse, my McPheever had spiked and I was desperate to see Katharine come out on top. Plus, over the course of the season Ivy had deviated from her starting place as a sympathetic, long suffering chorus girl who had paid her dues. With the back biting, back stabbing and boyfriend stealing she had become the villain of the piece. Well, behind
With hours until curtain, our dreamy British director Derek awarded the part to Karen. And, as Ivy watched her rival struggle to learn the songs and steps she so artfully knew she devised a plan. She would reveal that she had slept with Karen’s boyfriend Dev. Derailing her focus and hopefully throwing her into turmoil. And, for a while it worked but after a pep talk and boost of confidence from Derek Karen took her place as our bombshell. I have to say, it was so exciting to see the whole show come together in this final episode. I had written that over the course of the season “Smash” had eclipsed “Glee” as my favorite musical series. And, now that the journey is complete I feel even more comfortable saying that. The journey felt more cohesive, the stakes more worthwhile and the victory more deserved.
Sadly, “Smash” won’t be back until January of next year as a mid-season addition to NBC’s television line up according to their upfront presentation held yesterday. So it will be a long time until we see how the drama ramps up once the show actually moves to Broadway. But, thankfully there is a lot to keep me busy this summer. There are rumors of “Bombshell” actually opening on Broadway which would be incredible. But, even if it doesn’t Christian Borle who plays “Bombshell’s” composer is already on Broadway. Currently he can be seen playing the Black Stache in “Peter and the Starcatcher”. My friend June has a friend who works on the production and has been dying to see it, plus he was recently nominated for a Tony only adding to my interest. So hopefully some real Broadway magic with the cast of “Smash” will fill the void left by this 6 month absence. Although, truth be told speaking as a fan of Katharine 6 months is nothing compared to 6 years and that’s how long it had been between “Idol” and “Smash”. I had waited all that time to see her get her chance to shine. And last night as the show wound down and she stepped out on stage for the encore, it felt amazing when Derek leaned in and whispered “you’re a star.” Finally, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who noticed.