Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Smash Report: How Not to Collaborate

We begin with a bang. Or what was a bang. Karen, naked in Jimmy’s bed, sneaks out, stealing pages of his music off his piano. But wait. That was not Karen and Jimmy. It was Hit List. McSleazy offers Jimmy some direction on his acting, which of course he denies. This is not going to be a good collaboration. We head over to the Ivy-lead Bombshell singing our song, “Let Me Be Your Star.” It’s a different take than what we’re used to. Ivy and Karen are completely different Marilyns. She knocks the socks off of everyone though. After not hearing from Jesse L, Julia reveals to Tom that her and Mr. Artistic Director had a history in grad school and he holds a grudge. Why? We don’t know yet. Ivy asks Tom a question about our song, allowing a can of worms to open known as “open collaboration.” Tom announces to the entire company that if they have suggestions, they should feel free to share. That will not end well. Oh no. At Eileen’s office, with Playbill.com open on her computer, she meets with her publicist known as Mimi or Daphne Ruben-Vega. Hmmm. Not quite sure I get that. Ivy bumps into Sam outside of rehearsal and tries to convince him to go see Tom. Before we get that reunion, Julia reveals that she’s weary of the new democracy at Bombshell. He just wants it to be a happy experience for all. And then Sam appears. Bells ring and doves fly! At Hit List, the kids are with glee at the casting list. All the big stars are coming to audition! Including Lea Michele! Get it? Glee? Lea Michele? Moving on. Jimmy is pissed about this prospect, says Lea Michele’s name twice to which McSleazy retorts with one of the best lines the show has ever had, “You say her name one more time, she magically appears.” Jimmy is not happy with the direction his baby is going. He doesn’t want a star. He wants pure angst.
Mr. Artistic Director is not a fan of the friction on day one, expecting his writers and directors to work together. He insists that McSleazy find a middle ground with Jimmy. At the former flame’s reunion, Sam shares that he’s not happy on tour, in which Tom offers to take him back, despite the lack of parts. Oh love. Eileen heads over to the New York Times to get Bombshell in the paper, offering an exclusive look at Bombshell redux. At Tom’s cast party, he pines over the fact that there is nothing for Sam in the show. What will he do? Can’t break his heart again! Karen finds one of her shirts in Jimmy’s possession to which prompts inspiration for his story. Karen tries to level with Jimmy about connecting with McSleazy. She believes neither writer or director are talking to each other, rather talking at each other. Jimmy makes a quip about her having a special connection with McSleazy, prompting her swift exit, with her stolen t-shirt. At Tom’s, Tom accompanies Sam on an old thrown out song from an axed musical. Sam leads the impromptu song and dance through Tom’s giant apartment with much happiness and razzle dazzle. Dispite the happy song, the lyrics are very fitting, forecasting some troubles for Tom and Sam. That is until Ivy suggests that the song could be a part of Bombshell. Tom, realizing that this is his opportunity to bring Sam back home and into his life, on the whim creates a role for him. Hugs go around as Julia shares a look of pure terror.
McSleazy brings Jimle in to talk about his ideas. Instead of getting a name star, he offers a sleek design. Jimmy no likey. Jimmy may actually be the worst collaborator in the world. Karen asks McSleazy if he’ll audition Ana for the part of the Diva, but he declines. Before long, we see Sam and Tom in bed. Love! Mr. Artistic Director brings McSleazy in to talk about his high tech demands, including three LED screens. The budget no likey. At Bombshell, Eileen is shocked to learn that the great art editor will not be seeing Ivy in Bombshell redux, prompting a blow up between herself and Tom. Instead he was about to see Sam as Sammy Davis Jr. That is until Eileen and Julia crush Tom’s heart by forcing him to renege on his promise to Sam. Karen shares to Ana that she’s championing her for the part of the Diva. Jimmle chat about Jimmy’s poor decision tattling on McSleazy, only to be met by McSleazy himself giving him the good news about his approved design. Writer-Director tension!
Eileen and Richard the Arts Director try to figure out a way to give Bombshell press, in which the story will be about how mother-daughter save the show. Eileen schemes and hails a taxi. Julia takes Tom downtown to get advice from McSleazy on how to make tough decisions as a director. Instead, they see Jimmy and McSleazy at odds, again. Jimmy takes jabs at McSleazy, bringing Karen into the middle of the drama. He forces her to say what’s on her mind, which happens to be Team Jimmy. McSleazy is pissed, like usual, and walks out. Julia finds Mr. Artistic Director and tries to talk to him about the grudge. The grudge turns out to be Julia passing Mr. Artistic Director up on their promise for Mike Nichols. I would hold a grudge too! This decision took a huge toll on Mr. Artistic Director’s career path. Tom ends up chatting with McSleazy getting the advice he needs. How does he sleep at night after talking down to the cast? Getting respect over being liked is how to get things done. Tom then offers his own advice, convincing McSleazy to listen to Jimmy, because despite his arrogance, he might be right.
Ana and Kyle talk about things they can’t have. Ana tells Kyle to let go and think about things he can have. Enter Blake the lighting guy. They share a smile. Love. Jimmy and McSleazy finally have a heart to heart to get on the same page. Jimmy claims his show is about two people falling in love and the challenges that get in their way. McSleazy accepts this. McSleazy, on a now blank stage, offers a presentation of a song from the show that now includes obstacles between “Amanda” and “Jessie” and their love. The choreography is very lively and modern, fitting the beautiful song written by the talented Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin. The entire company digs the new approach, including Jimmy. Is it the first time we’ve seen him smile?
Julia stalks Mr. Artistic Director outside of his theater in order to apologize to him. She grovels about how she messed up fifteen years ago. He accepts it and offers his condolences on her split with Frank. Remember him? Karen finally reveals to Ana that she has feelings for Jimmy. Ana wants her to tell him and at least put herself out there. She decides to lead by example and performs “If I Were a Boy” for McSleazy. Odd song choice? Yes. Very odd. Is this her audition for McSleazy to be the star of the show or to get in his bed? Probably both. It’s a very Diva-esque performance. Is it enough? Time will tell. But first, Tom finally tells Sam that he can’t put the song in the show. Sam is expectedly upset, not only because he’s out of a job but because Tom’s being Tom again. Tom is hurt and takes the advice McSleazy gave him into action, shutting down Ivy and making Julia do some work. He’s ready to see his show on its feet, but first Eileen reveals that the role of Marilyn’s mother will be played by Ivy’s mom. Bernie’s coming back! A perfect story for the Times. Oh Ivy is NOT gonna like this! Ana wins McSleazy’s heart and gets the part. Karen puts herself out there to Jimmy, asking him out, but Jimmy is hesitant and too slow, for McSleazy is ready to swoop in. Right when they were getting along, Jimmy hates McSleazy again. McSleazy tries to get himself into Karen’s apartment, but she denies him. Before she can get settled, her apartment buzzer goes off, revealing not McSleazy but Jimmy. They share a passionate kiss, derobe, and get the nasty on! End of episode!
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Pretty good, no? Will love last for our new couples, Jimmy and Karen and Kyle and Blake? Will Tom get over the fact he slaughtered Sam’s heart again? And are you excited for Bernedette Peter’s return?

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