Monday, May 7, 2012

Smash Report: When Previews Bomb

And we open with Dev in a bed. Who’s in bed with him? No one? Karen? Ivy? Bingo! Ivy! You devil! At the theater, Karen and Jessica arrive looking for Ivy. Where is she? Oh, she’s with Dev in bed. Ivy and Dev say they won’t tell anybody. But let’s face it, they will. The Houston’s arrive in Boston, though where in Boston is anybody’s guess. And of course, arriving seconds later is Michael Swift. Awkward! Julia enters the theater cold as snow. She’s clearly pissed because she won’t even talk to Tom. McSleazy pops into Rebecca’s dressing room to get it on. Eileen catches him leaving, who she vows to strangle if it blows up. Karen tries to be nice to Ivy who doesn’t want her to be nice because then she’ll feel super guilty. Tension galore! McSleazy steps on stage for notes announcing they’re in pretty good shape. And of course Rebecca makes a scene on stage. As the company goes on stage, Ivy stays in her seat. When Karen steps on stage, she makes a b line to Rebecca flat out asking her if she’s sleeping with Derek because she’s a nice person. Rebecca basically says, oops, my bad. Guess when you’re a star, you CAN have it all.
The sounds of the audience are pouring in. Everybody’s getting ready for the big first preview. How will everyone react? The overture plays. The girls are getting on stage. The curtain rises and Rebecca as Marilyn sings our song, “Let Me Be Your Star.” Boy has she improved! Still no Karen or Ivy, but she’s goodish. We jump from song snippet to song snippet as Karen anxiously awaits for Dev to return a message. And wait! Linda our stage manager calls a cue! That’s our job! “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” begins with Rebecca out of her light. Rebecca has a diva moment in her dressing room. Then Marc Kudisch and boys in towels appear on stage. Wait…when did he come into this show? Then Ivy has a moment with Mr. Kudisch. It looks like a scene from 9 to 5. Oh they were in that show together in real life? Reality meets fiction! Then Karen gets into the action. I think this song is called “Smash.” It was bound to happen friends. The more and more this song plays on, it’s hard to displace it from 9 to 5. Clearly Dolly Parton would never write this song, but the situation, well, it’s nearly identical. Regardless, it’s a good production number. Why? Because the audience eats it up. In the dressing room, Ivy bursts in saying, “Karen he’s ok.” Guilt! Karen gives her a hug. Double guilt! On stage, Rebecca sings a song in a bed while the scenery does some whacky movement. I suppose this is Marilyn’s death and end of the show. The audience doesn’t applaud freaking Tom out. Was it because it was a beautiful moment or because it was a horrible ending? “First preview, something goes wrong.” And that would be Dev waiting in the theater. Karen tries to apologize but Dev gets guilty when Ivy appears. Karen thinks they’ve never met. Au contraire!
“You can’t end a musical with a suicide.” Why not? I think that’s cool! How do you end a musical about Marilyn if it’s not death? Write a new ending! Get to work Julia and Tom! Tom has a date with Sam. Sam invites Tom to church to which Tom announces he’s Jewish. Interesting…Ellis offers his two-cents on the preview bomb. The real problem IS Rebecca! You’re such a smarty Snoopy. Nick offers Ellis a ride home while Eileen asks the piano man, played by Marc Shaiman, if she can sing. Well, it’s more talk-sing until she actually starts to sing poorly. It leads to a montage of Dev and Karen about to get it on. Dev really is short for Devil! Tom sees Frank and Julia in the lobby but Julia just walks away. Cold co-writer. Eileen finally finishes to start a post do it scene with Karen and Dev. Dev continues to feel the guilt as Karen admits she loves him. Karen, don’t you know better? Body language, girl! Karen wants the marriage option and despite knowing how evil and sucky he is, asks her again. This time Karen says yes. At the theater, Ivy comes in, clearly looking to talk to McSleazy. McSleazy claims “Rebecca needs his attention and I’m giving it to her.” He then claims that he’s a professional. Sorry dude! That’s really NOT how it works in this profession! We’re not THAT slutty! Rebecca is on the phone where she laments that no one applauded after her death. Rebecca places the blame on herself but Karen says it’s not true. Rebecca drinks her smoothie, thenbegins to have an episode. Karen calls out for help. What’s going on? Could she have been poisoned? If so, I blame Ellis.
McSleazy appears on stage announcing that the show is cancelled for that evening and the following day. Eileen tries to talk to Randall about Rebecca, who claims that this was deliberate. At the hotel, the new headquarters, the team tries to figure out how to regroup. If Rebecca doesn’t recover will it be Ivy or Karen as Marilyn? But before that is a possibility, Dev messages Ivy because he thinks he left the wedding ring in her room. I have a feeling Karen will find it…But until then, Karen freaks out at the possibility that she’s next in line for Marilyn. Dev tries to encourage her by giving her the script while he freakishly watches her. Michael stops Julia in the lobby admitting that he came to Boston for her. Julia tries to defuse the situation and begins to get overworked leading to her defiantly pointing her finger.
Tom tries to compose a new song. Julia meets him at the theater where she admits she could kill him. Julia is still shaken up after Michael tried to kiss her. Julia is upset that her Tom betrayed her. Julia tries to blame Tom for the break up of her family, but Tom puts his foot down. Could this be one of the best scenes of the season? I think so. THIS is the real backstage drama we’ve been waiting for! Is the team going to break up? Well for now, we’re left with a single tear streaming down Julia’s face. The chorus kids go to the bar where Karen and Dev sit. The news that Duvall is back is making its rounds. Ivy is bummed so she orders some shots. Dev looks at Ivy hoping the ring was found, but alas, it’s still MIA.
At church, the congregation is filled with the Bombshell gang. Awkwardness all around! Everyone seems engaged, except for Leo. Sam invites Karen up to sing a song with him. It’s soulful to the max. With Karen on stage, a glance at Dev makes Ivy cry. And Julia cries because she’s emotional and confused. The entire congregation gets up on their feet, making it a Sunday morning party. Tell me again how Katherine McPhee lost “American Idol.” After church, Sam’s parents announce they’re going to see the play, mostly for Rebecca Duvall. Tom and Julia patch things up after that moving song, even though it’s a single line exchange. Karen meets Dev outside where Dev is about to spill his guts but Karen gets interrupted by Rebecca. Rebecca tells Karen that she’s not going back into the show because she’s so terrified. Karen isn’t thrilled with her decision, but deep down she’s excited. Karen goes back to the hotel to share the big news. The real question now IS who will play Marilyn? Rivalry is back!
Questions of the episode: What hotel were they staying in? Why is Dev such a dick? And who will be our star? Team Ivy or Team Karen?

2 comments:

  1. TEAM KAREN. Ivy is a bitch and Dev needs to man up and admit his mistakes. Karen is way too good for both Dev and Ivy. I know the finale will be a tear jerker.

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  2. Surely you jest. Dev should be adult enough to know when to SHUT THE HELL UP and get on with his life with Karen. Neither he nor Karen were virgins when they met and it's pretty clear he WON'T cheat again and only "fell" when Karen had all but broken up with him under the pressure of run-thrus. The one thing you DON'T do is tell someone you slept with someone else when they're in a tension filled situation - or EVER (unless of course the bitch Ivey shows up with the ring to get revenge when Karen gets the job the way we all expect in this kind of soap opera). Does anyone else realize how much better an idea (in real life) a musical about the ORIGINAL "bombshell," Jean Harlow, would have been than (the twice bombed) Marilyn idea? It just wouldn't have had the TV Q ratings, and the end would have been a trifle too close to the fictionalized MACK & MABEL denouement.

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