Tagged: nbc

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Big Finish”

The series finale gave us two SMASHtastic hours that culminated with the Tonys. I must admit that SMASH let me down by not titling the episode, “The Tonies.” I’m also sad that we didn’t get another season for me to abrasively campaign for an @Actor_Friend reference on the show. Alas, some things aren’t meant to be.

I can’t believe SMASH has officially come to an end. More importantly, I can’t believe SMASH Don’t Give a Shit has come to an end. 17 episodes. 20 blogs. 0 dollars. 525,600 memories.

Grab a cocktail folks, because the only thing more inflated than Jimmy Collins’ ego, is the following recap…

Top 17 Times (one for each episode) SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Nominations” & “The Tonys” 

1.) Bombshell Adds a Scene: Fade in on a girl with her arms wrapped around a toilet. I love that we got to see Ivy huggin’ porcelain again. It reminded me of season one Ivy or me on an average Thursday morning. What I’m trying to figure out is, what happens between “Don’t Forget Me” and Ivy’s curtain call, that she would have enough time to essentially pass out in the communal restroom? Did Tom add another scene per Ghost Kyle’s suggestion? Is there a Bombshell mega-mix? Do Jessica and Bobby come out and do a somber epilogue in all black, thus explaining why they are still in their beatnik costumes from the top of act two? These are the questions that keep me awake and night and remind me why I’m single.

2.) Ana Vargas Loses Her Agent: I thought I hit rock bottom when I supplemented my unemployment by party pumping at bar mitzvahs, but I’ve never had to troll that busted version of Actors’ Access for auditions like Ana did. I would assume someone like Ana would have her agent’s password to Breakdown Express, but I’m guessing she has nobody to submit her. A lot of unfortunate events happened to our friends on SMASH. Julia’s marriage fell apart, Jimmy went to jail, and Kyle died, but I feel the greatest tragedy in SMASH is the fact that Ana Vargas lost her representation.

3.) SMASHiverse Weather: Awards season happens during the most beautiful time to visit New York City. May and June. Spring into Summer. But the people on SMASH are still wearing winter coats and scarves. You can see their breath when they sing. But guess what? Last Saturday, May 25th, I wore rain boots, a peacoat, and gloves. The NYC weather is officially the most realistic thing depicted on SMASH.

4.) Bombshell Has the Worst Fans Ever: If I were Ivy Lynn, I’d take the secret exit out the back after a performance, because Bombshell has the worst fans ever. Bombshell fans consist of three catty teenage girls that give me horrible high school flashbacks and one old kween with a video camera, that also gives me horrible high school flashbacks. I mean, who was that guy? Like… was that JesWaza65 from All That Chat, just chillin’ with his iPhone on video record? Talk about uncomfortable! Not because that guy was downright creepy, but “uncomfortable” because the Invasive Broadway Super Fan is something else SMASH got completely right. The Invasive Broadway Super Fan believes they are intimately connected to your cast because they see the show six times a week, and I guarantee they will find a way to rush your wedding.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … : 

  • Eileen said, “My life has to be about more than this show,” and I was like, “Crap. I just said that last week.”

6.) Table 46 is Everything: I think I can pinpoint the exact moment that NBC cut SMASH’s budget. Somewhere around the time Table 46 became the only set piece. By episode 12, Table 46 was getting more screen time than Bobby, Jessica, and Sam put together. I mean, the Outer Critics Circle Awards took place at Table 46 along with both the Hit List and Bombshell Tonys parties. Was the Hotel Carter booked? I’m surprised that Table 46 wasn’t featured in the season 2 advertising campaign. I’m also floored that Table 46 didn’t get a solo in the “Under Pressure” montage.

7.) The New Table 46 Bartender Loves Broadway: Drew Gehling, currently starring as Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys, is now the new part time bartender at Table 46, and apparently LOVES Broadway. If you thought it was awesome that Kyle carried around playbills, you haven’t met Drew Gehling. According to SMASH, Drew Gehling keeps his iPhone perpetually locked on BroadwayWorld.com. Ivy was like, “What are people saying about Hit List?” and Drew was like, “Here’s my phone. And I’m not even going to look at it because I know it’s already logged onto all the theatre gossip boards!”

After Drew gives Ivy his phone he disappears. Why? Because Drew doesn’t fucking need that phone. When you’re a principal on Broadway and working shifts at the only restaurant in midtown, you can afford to just give away your Apple products.

8.) Karen Cartwright is AnnoyingActorFriend: How has it taken me this long to notice that there is a wall in Karen and Ana’s apartment that has various letters in random positions? Seems harmless… Except six of them are positioned to spell: ARTIST. SMASHiverse AnnoyingActorFriend was clearly inspired by Karen Cartwright. It’s a shame every episode of SMASH went twelve minutes over, because I’m sure there is a cut scene somewhere of Karen’s vision board party.

9.) Ana’s Fifteen Minute Call: Ana was gifted with Kyle’s ticket to the Tony Awards because Kyle’s parents didn’t give a shit and Karen’s parents are too Iowa for the NY1 Red Carpet. Ana only needed fifteen minutes to get ready because 1.) She’s Ana Fucking Vargas and 2.) She still had her makeup on from last night.

10.) PSM Marissa Don’t Give a Shit: It must have been all those 8 a.m. rehearsals, because the Hit List PSM was phoning it in on Tonys week. She let Karen call Jimmy out of the show for a night and then completely lost control at the Tonys rehearsal. First she let Daisy be the dance captain and basically run everything, then she cried to Karen about Daisy giving line readings, and finally, she let the entire cast revolt. I gotta admire Marissa’s tenacity for sticking around so long, considering Linda bolted before Bombshell even opened, but this was just sloppy. Girl, this is the 67th Tony Awards and you’re show is performing in a theatre that’s apparently also home to Evita AND Follies. Get your shit together!

11.) Tom Levitt LOSES It: Tom has had his ups and downs this season, but in the finale, I’d say he completely gave up. I felt like I was watching a public meltdown. So, naturally, I loved every minute! Let’s breakdown the anatomy of this breakdown:

  1. Tom keeps his iPhone on the brightest setting necessary, when we all know that you can see the screen just fine in a Broadway house when the backlight is powered to low.
  2. Tom brags to the audience member behind him about winning an award when the poor guy is trying to enjoy the first three act musical since 1916.
  3. Eileen and Julia are having a heart to heart about relationships when Tom breaks in like the stomach alien from Spaceballs, and is all, “Hey, look at me!” while doing his best W.B. Frog impersonation.
  4. Tom slams Petite Sirah multiple times, even thought it usually has the highest alcohol content of all red wines. I know this because Ana told me.
  5. Tom passively aggressively slams J. Crew. Look, not all of us are getting 2% royalties on two hit Broadway shows.
  6. Tom not only kept Kyle’s Lisa Frank puff-painted Trapper Keeper libretto from Julia, he also neglected to tell her about their affair and explain to the audience who was the top.
  7. Patrick said, “I liked Bombshell and you deserved your nomination,” and Tom heard, “I’M A CLOSETED HOMOSEXUAL COME LOVE ON ME.”
  8. Tom suggests Patrick’s “upper arms” are not straight. #DeltoidsAreSOGay
  9. Tom asks Patrick out for lunch and when he politely declines, Tom takes that as: “I’M A CLOSETED HOMOSEXUAL PLEASE COME LOVE ON ME IN THIS VERY PUBLIC LOBBY WHERE THERE IS A NATIONAL TELECAST HAPPENING IN THE NEXT ROOM AND MICHAEL RIEDEL IS LURKING UNDER THE VICTOR/VICTORIA POSTER.”
  10. Patrick tells Tom he isn’t gay and Tom is like, “That’s how all my straight friends kiss me after I forcefully shove my tongue down their throat.”

I have to admire Tom’s committment. I feel like Patrick really could be straight but Tom would just be so convinced he were gay that it wouldn’t really matter. I imagine Patrick waking up one day as an old man in Palm Springs with Tom bringing him french toast and Metamucil, all the while wondering, “How the fuck did I get here?” This is also how I imagine Don Draper’s arc on Mad Men ending.

12.) Diane Paulus Don’t Give a Shit: I want to know what went down between Diane Paulus and Laura Osnes that required Sutton Foster to sweep in and grab the Tony nomination for Oliver! — and if that were the case, I want to know why there wasn’t a moment when Ana was required to say something about Laura Osnes being on a break.

13.) PSM Linda Runs the Tony Awards: We may not have seen her, but I can guarantee that Linda was the stage manager of the Tony Awards. PSM Linda must have been MIA the last six episodes because she was off werking the wizardry necessary to pull off this awards show. Want to know why we didn’t see Linda during the episode? Because she was too damn busy holding that shit together with Elmer’s glue and popsicle sticks.

Linda may have had trouble getting that plane on stage in Bombshell, but she did not have a problem making sure the entire cast of Hit List got miked up with five seconds notice for their Pitch Perfect 2 audition. If the SMASH 67th Tony Awards are any inclination, the ACTUAL 67th Tony Awards are going to be a BEAST. I mean, these Tonys were such a huge deal that everybody on Broadway got their matinee off just to prepare. This was also a Tonys that had the gall to televise Best Book, Score, and Choreography. That’s ballsy, SMASH. I hope I don’t have to sit through that boring shit on June 9th. I’m praying for a cruise ship performance of Catch Me if You Can instead.

14.) Jerry is PISSED: Not only did Jerry lose best musical to Eileen, he now has to pay thousands of extra dollars for all the Hit List cast members who suddenly decided to partake in the Tony performance. He also has to pay the minimum for Ana, who isn’t even in the cast. Actually, can we get a dramaturg on that? I honestly don’t know. Does Jerry have to pay Ana for appearing on the Tonys? Should I find out? How much do you dare me to just casually wander on stage when Kinky Boots performs next month? I’d probably do it for twelve bucks and a high five.

15.) Audra McDonald Don’t Give a Shit: Contrary to what some might believe, I did not werk on SMASH. Suggesting that Kyle would be literally thrown in front of a bus weeks before it happened was a lucky guess. For the most part, I was able to keep the majority of the season from being spoiled for me. That is, until Audra McDonald decided to not give a shit, and take to twitter Sunday night to ruin my life…

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 10.55.10 AM

Look, Audra, I know you reserve Sundays for polishing your basket of Tonys, but some of us were out enjoying the immaculate Memorial Day wind-tunnel weather, and were saving SMASH to nurse our hangovers. I mean, it was like THREE MINUTES after the finale aired on the east coast! You ruined it for the four people in California, anxiously awaiting the episode to air an hour later. Not even my super fans (yes, I have about three) tweeted me a spoiler! Couldn’t you have watched Behind the Candelabra instead? At least I know how that ends (with a bang). <— I’m twelve.

16.) The Big Finish: SMASH gave us a SH-META BIG FINISH musical number montage with a literal SMASH logo in background. I gotta respect that. I also loved the following moments:

  • Jimmy and Karen eating each other’s face outside the Midtown South Precinct.
  • Ivy and Karen singing something along the lines of, “forget all the times SMASH didn’t give a shit because we just need to finish strong.”
  • Ivy saying Karen Cartwright’s entire name twice to remind us that even though she won a Tony, it’s still all about Karen.
  • The down and dirty eye-fuck that Cleopatra Rand gave to the guy from All My Children that said, “I want you to discover my Egypt all over this desk.”

17.) An Honest to God Thank You (seriously, this one isn’t meant to be sarcastic) : While my official goodbye to SMASH was posted after its cancellation (Closing Notice: SMASH), I want to personally thank the writers, cast, and crew of SMASH. You were one classy, hard working group of people with an incredible sense of humor when it came to assholes like me. Thank you for reminding us all that life is too much fun to take yourself too seriously.

I also want to thank all of you for tuning in weekly to read the barely coherent psychobabble of an anonymous blogger with a shit ton of time on their hands. There are more SMASH recaps out there than songs in Bombshell, so the fact that you chose to read mine means more than you know.

Shameless Self Promotion

Some of you have asked if there is life for me after SMASH, and I would like to officially announce that I have given myself a book deal! This summer, I will be writing #SOBLESSED: The Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business. In the style of my SMASH Don’t Give a Shit posts, this how-to book will explain everything from choosing the right college, pounding the pavement, and getting your Equity card to regional theatre, Broadway, national tours, navigating pilot season, and of course, behaving on social media.

Expect #SOBLESSED on Amazon Kindle and paperback in September! I have made the brave decision to do this without a kickstarter.

The Top 10 Things SMASH Didn’t Get a Chance to NOT Give a Shit About

As the SMASH series finale rapidly approaches, I have been reflecting over the multitude of awesome times the show threw caution, credibility, and Kyle under the bus. Yesterday, I stopped by my second home, the Telsey + Co offices on 43rd street, to visit my fave CSA (Cesar Rocha @clseeyedleap). I was in for a prescreen, so naturally I cleared 4 GBs off my iPad to make room for my sides. As I was thumbing through iBooks, trying to finding the right PDF, Cesar and I started talking about SMASH and what fun story lines he wished he got a chance to cast.

It got us thinking about all the other wonderful elements and events in the world of Broadway that we’ll never see dramatized by SMASH. After I nailed my audition (#dzuh), I hightailed it back to my apartment to anxiously wait for a (212) number to dial my phone, and drafted, in no particular order: The Top 10 Things SMASH Didn’t Get a Chance to NOT Give a Shit About and how I think they would have played out…

1.) Broadway Bares: We certainly know the male ensemble in both Hit List and Bombshell would be all over this shit. I want to see an episode where Karen and Ivy have to deal with not being the center of attention for five minutes. Like, what the fuck would Karen and Ivy do when they find out nobody really gives a shit about girls at Broadway Bares, and they have to stand in the mosh pit drinking vodka out of an Arnold Palmer Snapple bottle? I’m sure Ivy would be happy to support Bobby and Karen would be there for this “Gabe” we’ve heard so much about but have never actually seen. You could also count on Ana reviving her silk number with the folks from Flying Dreams. Never mind, Ana wouldn’t make it passed the tequila toast backstage.

2.) The Great Gatsby: Scott was planning on producing Julia Houston’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby at the Manhattan Theatre Workshop. We’ve already seen Julia pretty much transcribe F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic onto Microsoft Word, so we know the script is totally going to rock. However, considering that Scott went nuts at the Sharper Image and pretty much blew his budget on Hit List‘s Jumbotron, I can’t imagine there being much money left over to fund a fully realized production of Gatsby. Also, you know that after spending $18 to see Baz Luhrmann’s epic 3D version of The Great Gatsby this summer, everyone is going to totally want to drop $70 on a bare bones production in the East Village, with nine cast members and one actress that plays Jordan, Myrtle, and Drunk Girl at a Party.

3.) Chicago Flyer Girls: I’d have liked a new cast member added would prefer her to be one of those red-tights-wearing girls who hand out flyers for Chicago in Times Square. They are fabulous. It could be 90 degrees, 40 below, Superstorm Sandy, or Blizzard Athena, and these fierce bitches would still be werking those Capezios outside the Palace Theatre. I want to see a Chicago Flyer Girl bust her ass all season just to get her Equity card at the Paper Mill Playhouse on the finale. But, knowing SMASH, our Sickeld Footed Someone would probably bang Derek in S3E2 and end up replacing Karen in Hit List by S3E4 because we all know Karen would have been Daisy in The Great Gatsby. Ugh. Am I right? I mean, it don’t get more muse-ie than Daisy Buchanan.

4.) Broadway Softball League: After the Tonys are done, what other competition can we stir up between #TeamIvyBombshell and #TeamKarenHitList? The Broadway Softball League would be a great opportunity for SMASH to explain to America what “calling out” is, after Karen gets Simon Birch-ed in the nose by a foul tip off Ivy’s bat. This could be a fun bonding episode for the entire cast to partake in, but I’d bet in the SMASHiverse, softball would be played on a gridiron with a basketball, two soccer nets, and a golden snitch.

5.) Gypsy of the Year: In S3E5 of SMASH, entitled: “The Gypsy of the Year,” the entire conflict could have been Eileen trying to stop Jen Cody and Don Richard from being the best thing to ever happen to these BC/EFA events (besides, of course, the charity raised). I would be extremely satisfied with the entire episode just being Ms. Cody as Little Sally and Mr. Richard as Officer Lockstock, grilling the SMASHiverse. There would be no need for a “SMASH Don’t Give a Shit” that week. I can’t compete with that.

6.) Broadway in Bryant Park: This concert takes place during the SWASS-tastic dog days of summer and more often than not, showcases the talent of the understudies because the stars can’t be bothered to attend. I’d love to see SMASH’s take on Broadway in Bryant Park, because they could have given two shits about establishing understudies this season and it would be amusing to watch them figure this one out.

7.) A Strike: Stagehands and musicians have gone on strike in the last ten years. Can you imagine if SMASH staged an Actors’ Equity strike? LOL. That would be the biggest case of #SMASHisSoUnrealistic ever. If you would like further proof that AEA will never strike, just take a look at the following national touring statistics:

2000: Producers = Lots of Money!         Actors = Lots of Money!

2008: Producers = Lots of Money!         Actors = No Money!

2013: Producers = Lots of Money!         Actors = LOL.

Happy 100th Birthday, Actors’ Equity Association!

8.) Bored on Broadway: If season three was all about the cast moving on to other shows, I’d like to see Bobby stay stuck in Bombshell. We could see Bobby struggle with the boredom of a long run on Broadway. Being locked into a long run is like the worst thing to happen to a chorus member ever. Jumping from show to show is ideal. Long runs are the kiss of death. People who stay in Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys for ten years just to buy apartments have the wrong priorities. I can just see Bobby being like, “Jessica gets to do The House Bunny: the musical and I’m still in Bombshell. It’s been like SIX MONTHS. I’m. SO. BOOORED!”

9.) Broadway Barks: Leigh Conroy adopts a dog from Bernadette Peters.

10.) I.A.T.S.E.: I don’t believe we ever saw an IATSE member in a single episode of SMASH. Probably because every member of Local One would need to be paid four hours minimum just for being mentioned on the show. And that is why IATSE members are some of the most awesome people you’ll ever meet.

 

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Transfer”

I may have gotten a little sentimental yesterday as we all coped with the news of SMASH’s cancellation. But it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and it’s time for me to properly get back on everybody’s #shitlist!

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Transfer”

1.) NBC Don’t Give a Flying F*ck: For those of us on the East Coast, SMASH was delayed because of NBC’s golf coverage. I believe NBC’s exact words were, “Due to the duration of golf coverage we now join SMASH, already in progress.” Yep. Already in progress. NBC didn’t even have the decency to start the episode late. Even CBS does that during football season. Do you know how many times I had to watch Andy Rooney gripe about razor scooters and melons instead of my Amazing Race because the Giants game pushed 60 Minutes an hour? That was football. This is golf. GOLF. This wasn’t even Caddyshack. I’d forgive them if they bumped SMASH for Caddyshack. Maybe even Caddyshack II: On the Move. But actual golf? #hellno.

Due to this prolonged golf extravaganza, we missed the entire opening number. The show cut in right as Ana was awkwardly stumbling on stage during a preview of Hit List. I’m not necessarily surprised to see Ana in a semi-inebriated state, but I would have appreciated an explanation. Thus, I actually had to buy this episode of SMASH on iTunes. Now I have spent money on SMASH. Thanks a lot, NBC. inebriated

2.) Table 46 Needs to Stop: I never want to go there. Table 46 is that place you involuntarily bump into everyone you’ve ever worked with, that you don’t necessarily want to see again, who always end up asking you, “So… What are you up to?” And you’re like, “Oh, you know…auditioning.” And then you have to ask them how they’re doing, even though you know what they’re doing, because they just posted all about it on Facebook, and you’ve yet to unfriend them because you’re a social media whore. Or… maybe that’s just me? Oh, then I’m totally kidding… #WERK ! I love Hell’s Kitchen.

The only person who doesn’t want to be at Table 46 more than me, are the people that work there. That waiter was like, “Hey, Jimmy! Wanna bus tables for old time’s sake? Oh, wait. You never bussed shit! You just sat on the piano and played your little show tunes and now you’re on Broadway and I still can’t get seen for Mamma Mia… But, totes congrats on all that.”

The last place Jimmy Collins wants to be is the restaurant he used to work at. Talk about a flood of bad memories. Oh, and I’m not talking about having to see the ghost of Kyle in every corner. I’m talking about the dirty secrets Jimmy probably knows about how Table 46 is managed. Jimmy knows when the hands haven’t been washed. Jimmy knows when the milk has expired. He knows everything.

You can see how uncomfortable Jimmy is in that booth. He’s thinking, “I know we bought our A grade from the health department….I have to stop her from eating that fried calamari because it’s not actually calamari, it’s … Oh, God. Get me out of here!” Trust me, nobody wants to go back to the restaurant they worked at once they’ve finally gotten out. Jimmy is a recovering substance abuser. Table 46 is the last place they should have taken him.

3.) Kyle Bishop Don’t Give a Shit About Some People: Kyle Bishop was not the only casualty in the SMASHiverse. What happened to the two sets of twins that used to be in Hit List? We haven’t seen them since that “Original” Miley Cyrus number back in episode 2.10. I used to think that they were the ones left on stage during the full company costume change that happens after “Amanda” gets shot by the Diva. However, none of those twins were present in the Broadway transfer. If Jimmy’s objective is to maintain Kyle’s vision of Hit List, I guess Kyle didn’t give a shit about the Engen twins. Or the twins from So You Think You Can Dance (Canadian Edition). Furthermore, Kyle must not have given a shit about whoever played the role that now belongs to Sam Strickland. I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead, but it sounds to me that Kyle Bishop, at heart, was a ruthless son of a bitch that didn’t give a shit about first right of refusal.

4.) KAREN CARTWRIGHT (Amanda): Broadway: Debut! Off-Broadway: Hit List. Regional: Bombshell (Marilyn). Workshops: Marilyn: the musical (Chorus). BFA from Michigan. Karen feels #SoBlessed to be finally making her first appearance on the “Great White Way,” which should now be referred to as the “Great Vanilla Way.” What a difference a year makes. “Thanks Telsey!”

5.) That Awkward Moment When … : 

  • oof. Ana made an Erin Dilly dig that was worse than anything I’ve ever said. #almost

6.) Is Lin-Manuel Miranda Usually Such a Dick?: I don’t know Mr. Miranda personally. I respect his werk. He seems like a very nice guy. He’s extremely talented. He even used to follow my twitter account… Well, until I did this:

Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 5.11.48 PM Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 5.12.21 PM Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 5.13.13 PMScreen shot 2013-05-12 at 5.24.06 PM Screen shot 2013-05-12 at 5.24.13 PM

I was young and foolish and I scared Lin-Manuel away. I still believe that real life Lin-Manuel is a truly nice guy. But, SMASH-iverse Lin-Manuel is an asshole. What kind of a jerk brings that much sass to a Houston & Levitt farewell concert? Bring it On may have been nominated for a Tony in the real world, but I can guarantee SMASH-iverse Bring it On is going to get #SNUBBED.

7.) Julia’s Magical Notecards: Julia werked it with the notecards this episode. Jimmy refused to let anything in Hit List change unless it was originally one of Kyle’s ideas. Julia forced poor Jimmy to return to an apartment he had not set foot in since his best friend was still breathing, all so she could rummage through Kyle’s personal items in search of a stack of notecards with obscure and random words written on them.

Julia picked up a notecard with one word on it, conceptualized an entire idea and then tried to pawn it off as Kyle’s. This was pure genius of Julia. She can do anything she wants now! All she has to do is pick up a card, read the word, and then say, “Oh… Yeah… Um…Kyle had this totally great idea to [insert whatever crazy shit you want to add to the show]” I personally think Julia just made up the entire social media newsfeed idea. Kyle’s word on the notecard was NEWSREEL. What kid in their early twenties writes down “newsreel” and doesn’t mean that black and white thing they show in old Turner Classic Movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and A League of their Own?

I wish Julia didn’t quit Hit List, because she could have seriously driven it into the ground just so Bombshell could win all the Tonys. Here are some other potential notecards of Kyle’s that Julia could have turned into something to sabotage Hit List:

  • GAGA: “Oh, I remember this one! Kyle always wanted to do a number with babies. Like, an edgy satire on the maturity level of most twitter users. He said that when the show transferred to Broadway, he pictured act one ending with the ensemble just rolling around on stage for five minutes, goo-goo-ing.”
  • GRAMMY: “Kyle thought the VMA’s were the only relevant awards show. He did, however, consider adding a song about a Grammy… Grammi Gummi, from The Gummi Bears. Kyle told me about a scene he wanted to write in act two, where Amanda gets high and hallucinates the entire ensemble on bungee cords, dressed as Grammi Gummi. You know, like Wonderland did with all those Alices.”
  • SOMEONE LIKE YOU: “Not, the Adele song. The Jekyll & Hyde one. Kyle loved Jekyll & Hyde. We should all go see it right now and do all of that.”

8.) PSM Marissa One-Ups PSM Linda: I know what you’re thinking… Could someone ever be a more capable stage manager than Linda? SMASH-phemous! But let’s be serious, PSM Marissa was able to insert an entire groundbreaking multimedia event into Hit List in less time than it took for PSM Linda to tech a cardboard plane moving onstage. I love me some Linda, but maybe there is something to Marissa and her 8 a.m. call times. That being said, Bombshell was dark the day of the Houston & Levitt concert and ASM Kathy ran the event, giving PSM Linda a much deserved night off.

9.) Derek Royally Screws Ana Because He Literally Screwed Daisy: I don’t know what’s worse: getting thrown under an actual bus like Kyle or getting thrown under the proverbial bus like Ana, because I almost Bishop-ed myself when this entire plot line began to unravel. In fact, I don’t even really know what happened the rest of the episode because I frisbee tossed my iPad across the room.

Nobody messes with Ana Vargas. Nobody. 

10.) Ivy Revisits Season One: Agnes schooled Ivy about her reputation by bringing up a bunch of shit that happened in season one. Um. Last time I checked, we forgot that Theresa Rebeck happened. Then Ivy got a phone call from the only doctor’s office I know that is open at 11 p.m. to tell her she is pregnant with Julia’s cliffhanger from last season.

You know what? I hope it’s Dev’s baby. If Ivy can film a car commercial, learn an entirely new number for a Houston & Levitt review that was staged and rehearsed in one day, all while campaigning for a Tony and starring on Broadway eight times a week, it’s entirely possible that her and Dev’s fertilized embryo was like, “It’s cool, mom. I’ll just take this first trimester rrrreeeaaalllllyyy sllloooowww.”

We’re talking SMASH, here. Stranger things have happened.

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Producers”

My DVR recorded SMASH. I saw the red light and everything. Then when I pressed, “play” it mysteriously deleted itself. I am telling you, SMASH is trying to evade me.

I love that NBC has mentioned that SMASH is heavily watched by some of the most wealthy viewers in the country, but placed the two hour season finale on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, when everyone will be partying at Emily Thorne’s beach house in the Hamptons.

Not me, SMASH! I’m on funemployment, so you can throw all the witchcraft you want at my DVR… I have a 64 GB prop from Hit List and a $25 iTunes gift card to burn…

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Producers”

1.) Ivy’s Winesday: The only person more tired than Ivy on her press tour, is ME writing these recaps. There was a time way back in the frozen tundra of MARCH, when a guest appearance by Kathie Lee Gifford would have inspired an entire blog. But how am I supposed to be committed when this episode opens with a fourth hour of the TODAY show that even Hoda called out of?

I guess somewhere between the last two episodes, Bombshell went from being Newsies to Leap of Faith. Eileen is overwerking Ivy by having her do press events before the matinee and two interviews in between shows. Eileen promises Ivy will be backstage for the evening show by half hour, which proved to me that Ivy can take this kind of pressure, for she is surely the first woman in the history of the American Theatre that only needs thirty minutes to get ready.

I’ve deduced that this episode of TODAY was a Winesday. However, Kathie Lee couldn’t even do Ivy a solid by providing her with a fishbowl of alcohol. Nope. The only wine in this episode came in the form of the actual whining happening downtown at Hit List.

2.) That’s Right, Folks. It’s a Hit List Episode: I want to thank everyone for their patience regarding the length it has taken me to publish this recap. But, it was a Hit List episode paired with Ivy narrating a clip show from season four of Will & Grace. “The Producers” gave me a serious case of linguistic constipation. I liken this issue of “SMASH Don’t Give a Shit” to what happens when you push a fart through a clogged colon. No amount of kale chips could evacuate my creative blockage this week. You’ve been warned…

3.) FART!

4.) POOP!

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • My original recap for this episode was just a list of rhetorical questions that started to read like a BroadwayWorld message board thread.
  • Oh my God, is Hit List supposed to be RENT? #MINDBLOWN
  • Julia is now using the actual 180 page version of The Great Gatsby instead of a copy of the hard cover epic she gave Tom last week that I’ve since been calling The Great Gatsby and the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Kyle’s mom was played by Carolee Carmello and/or Marin Mazzie.
  • Carolee Carmello and/or Marin Mazzie did a deliberate caricature of Karen’s parents.
  • Carolee Carmello is involved in Hit List, confirming the show will only receive one Tony nomination.
  • AEA doesn’t fine actors for being late Off-Broadway.
  • Derek Wills did a project that Linda was not the PSM for and the entire thing went to shit.
  • Karen saw Jimmy was cracked out downstage of her, with all the contemporary oozers, but she did the trust fall anyway.
  • Karen sounded like a sack of nickels when she hit the deck.
  • Exactly how many versions of “The Bitch of Living” are in Hit List?

6.) iHit List: Between the La Boheme number in Hit List and the impending production of The Great Gatsby, Scott should just rename his theatre the Baz Luhrmann Werkshop. I don’t doubt that Scott is a fantastic artistic director but how big is his budget? Where did they get the money for twenty iPads? Who charges them at night? Do they have AppleCare Plus on all of those iPads? Maybe the Manhattan Theatre Workshop held a Kickstarter to “enhance production values” like American Psycho.

7.) The Scarves are Back: Y’all, it is finally winter in the SMASHiverse. The scarves this week were putting season one Julia to shame. Sam Strickland’s scarf almost ate his head. Scott saw Sam’s scarf and raised him a sweater. Agnes threw down with a cheetah print that made Daryl Roth go, “I guess I brought a sensible black turtleneck to a gunfight.” In the end, Kevin McCollum proved everyone an amateur by wearing a floor length periwinkle scarf with no sense of irony. #WerkKevinMcCollum

8.) Ana Double Fists It: My favorite part of this entire episode was when Ana spoke to Kyle’s dad about the silk number while drinking out of a red party cup and then point five seconds later, was seen holding a beer. In an episode where lives and relationships were put in jeopardy, it was comforting to have some stability in Ana’s substance abuse problem that nobody seems to take as seriously as Jimmy’s.

9.) Cracked Out Jimmy is My New Best Friend: The only person who drops more truth bombs than Ana is Cracked Out Jimmy. Cracked Out Jimmy is the best thing to happen to SMASH this season. I don’t care what anybody says. Anyone who gets on a bar and basically tells Karen, “you have the emotional complexity of a Trapper Keeper“ then points out how the one genuinely pure character has now suddenly been regressed to a fraggle hussy is “A-OK” in my book.

P.S. Can Cracked Out Jimmy please make an appearance on the NY1 Tony Red Carpet coverage? If you thought those hosts look petrified before, Cracked Out Jimmy will stand their already flown-away hair on end!

10.) Was Kyle Just Hit By a Street Sweeper?: Navigating the New York City streets can be tricky business. Especially in the dark, in the middle of the night, when no cars are around, and you’re distracted by your own angst driven self-indulgent shame spiral.

I firmly believe that if Kyle was checking his Facebook, or something, he wouldn’t have gotten hit by an M60 bus, street sweeper, Chinese food delivery bike, or whatever the hell that was. Look, I don’t know if he actually got hit by anything. For all we know he dodged it. I’ve yet to read any of Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld, All That Chat, or NBC and Josh Safran’s spoilers, so back off!

I digress. I dare you to try walking in New York without looking down at your phone.  I tried it once and tripped three times over the course of twelve blocks. I’m telling you, autopilot saves lives.

Seriously, though. Kyle doesn’t die. I know this! On the downloaded version of the episode (the one that will go on Netflix and DVD for eternity), an instrumental of “The 20th Century Fox Mambo” plays during the credits. Like… Kyle gets hit by a tractor trailer…Black Out…”The 20th Century Fox Mambo.” What kind of sick fuck would make that kind of edit if Kyle was more than just slightly maimed?

Until Next Week…

Take a moment to vote for SMASH in the final round of E ONLINE’S “SAVE ONE SHOW” POLL! SMASH has had an amazing sense of humor when it comes to “SMASH Don’t Give a Shit,” so this is the least we could all do.

I’ve already voted, and this was the kind of sarcasm I was met with…

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SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “Opening Night”

On Saturday night, I felt a great disturbance in the Force. As if 1.908 million voices suddenly cried out in glee and were suddenly silenced. I feared something terrible had happened. After viewing SMASH the next morning, I can honestly admit that my greatest fear had been realized. SMASH was good.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Did you snort some of Jimmy’s stash and pop a few of Ivy’s pills in the Marilyn Yourself powder room?” Maybe… But, after enduring countless hours of a show that might as well be renamed, The Magical Karen Cartwright, SMASH served up an episode that had moments befitting of what we would expect from that Broadway themed HBO pilot directed by Kathryn Bigelow that didn’t happen.

I bet you’re under the impression I’m going to gush about SMASH this entire recap. Well, not so fast George Banks, there were still plenty of SMASHtatsic moments in this episode and the Force was balanced by the return of Julia’s son, the Jar Jar Binks of network television…

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “Opening Night”

1.) NBC Can’t Make Tuesdays at 10pm Werk: SMASH’s Tuesday night replacement, Ready for Love (or as I have previously called it: Gabby Solis Presents The Bachelor on the Deal or No Deal Set) was prematurely canceled after two episodes. LOL.

ParenthoodSMASH, and Ready for Love have all failed to thrive at 10pm on Tuesday night. Before the Leno/Conan debacle of 2009/10, the now troubled time slot was dominated by Law & Order: SVU in the 2000’s and Dateline in the 1990s. Could it be that audiences are just pissed off they aren’t getting their Tuesday night episodic crime solving fix? Well, NBC, a few weeks ago I came up with a spin-off suggestion that I now firmly believe could solve all your problems…

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In the Broadway community, the position of an offstage cover is considered especially boring. In New York City, the two dedicated detectives who choose to investigate vicious felonies between “half -hour” and fifteen minutes before curtain call, are members of an elite squad known as the Special Witnesses Investigating Narcotics, Gangs, and Stuff (S.W.I.N.G.S.). These are their stories…

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SWINGS

2.) Julia is the Worst Brainstormer: Julia obviously don’t give a shit about Bombshell if the first things she brings up to Tom right after the last preview are horrible suggestions for musicals they could write together. Gulliver’s Travels? The Lord of the Flies? I’ll bet Julia is pissed someone beat her to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. What’s her obsession with books? Doesn’t Julia know there are movie titles out there in desperate need of re-commercialization? I’m starting to think Julia should completely ditch Tom and start working with Frank Wildhorn. They could polish off my high school reading list by musicalizing MausCatcher in the Rye, Snow Falling on Cedars, and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

I thought Julia was being sarcastic when she suggested musicalizing The Very Hungry Caterpillar. No. She was dead serious. She thinks it would be a good project for Julie Taymor. Isn’t Ms. Taymor busy doing pre-pro on Good Night Moon?

3.) Nail the Noir! : This section was originally intended to discuss how ridiculously awesome it is that Tom casually gets thrown big Broadway directing projects like he’s some kind of Rob Ashford, that the producer tried to spell out how directing is a full time job like Tom has the mental capacity of Julia’s son, and that I have this sinking feeling the City of Angels revival cast is about to get seriously Funny Girled, but then I went into the kitchen to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and got distracted by the original cast recording of RENT that occasionally plays on a loop in the back of my brain (#LongestRunOnSentenceEver).

SIDEBAR FROM 1996: Have you ever spoken any of the lyrics in RENT aloud without the melody?

EXAMPLE: “I don’t own emotion. I rent.”

I said that on my last date and the other person was like, “Is your emotion controlled or stabilized?” 

4.) Eileen Rand Don’t Give a Shit About Richard, the Times, or her PantiesEileen gave the most subtly emasculating dig at a man’s bedroom skills on opening night of Bombshell. Richard said, “I’ll stand around like a prop while you pretend to enjoy yourself” and Eileen responded with, “I’ve been doing that for weeks. What’s one more night?” BURN! Remind me never to sleep with Eileen Rand, for she may hop over to All That Chat and write about how I have half the grace of my predecessor.

I would like to thank Daphne Rubin-Vega for making me picture a sixty-one year old woman in a knee length pencil skirt without wearing any underwear. Thank you for that, Ms. Rubin-Vega. While we’re at it, I want you all to do a Google image search for Fran Weissler and imagine that she isn’t wearing any underwear in all of those photos… You’re welcome.

Eileen wore an understated garment to the opening night of Bombshell. I was disappointed. I prefer my Anjelica Huston like this…

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5.) That Awkward Moment When … : SMASH was awesome. Full disclosure: there have been plenty of times when I’ve honestly enjoyed SMASH. I do not choose to share them with you because they make me feel dirty and ashamed. However, I can not let Ivy’s opening night in Bombshell pass by without stepping out of character and acknowledging how truly remarkable it was.

At last, we got to witness Ivy sing “Don’t Forget Me.” I was concerned when the male ensemble surrounded her and Ivy gave a very “on the nose” turn to JFK on the lyric about singing “Happy Birthday” to someone you love. However, when the men faded into the images of all the people who paved the road to that moment in Ivy’s life, I found myself overcome with the forgotten emotions of that seventeen year old who chose to tap dance instead of [insert any career choice that could actually pay my rent].

Everything clicked. Ivy’s true conflict is not something as base as becoming a “star.” It is about universal vs. parental acceptance. I realized that Ivy’s story is an allegory for SMASH. Something striving so valiantly to appeal to an entity that will forever find itself superior. That is what Ivy was to Leigh Conroy and that is what SMASH is to the theatrical community. It’s not that SMASH doesn’t give a shit. It’s that SMASH cares so much. For that reason alone, I can’t help but love SMASH.

Once I reached my tearful epiphany, I turned off the TV and retired to my bedroom where I gave myself fifty-lashes to the revival cast recording of Sweeney Todd.

6.) Does Julia’s Son Have Asperger Syndrome? : No. Really. This is a genuine question. I honestly believe Julia’s son is meant to be played with Asperger Syndrome. I have to think this, because I love Telsey & Co., and refuse to believe that this actor made it through a prescreen if the role of Leo Houston was written any other way.

Asperger’s Syndrom Symptoms:

  • Not being able to read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking. (NOTE: JULIA WAS TRYING TO TALK ABOUT MOVING OUT OF TOM’S APARTMENT WHILE LEO CHOSE TO WALK INTO ANOTHER ROOM AND RANDOMLY PULL THE GREAT GATSBY OFF THE SHELF.)
  • Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger’s syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes… (NOTE: LEO’S OBSESSION LAST SEASON WITH ADOPTING CHILDREN FROM CHINA.)
  • Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized. (NOTE: LEO BEING VOCALLY EXCITED TO SEE IVY NAKED.)
  • Avoid eye contact or stare at others. (NOTE: THE ACTOR’S CHOICE TO IGNORE BEATS AND LISTENING SKILLS.)
  • Teens with Asperger’s are typically uninterested in following social norms, fads, or conventional thinking, allowing creative thinking and the pursuit of original interests and goals. (NOTE: LEO CAME UP WITH THE NEW MUSICAL IDEA FOR TOM AND JULIA. HE GOT THE IDEA IN TOM’S LIBRARY, WHERE APPARENTLY ALL MUSICAL INCEPTIONS TAKE PLACE RE: ELLIS & MARILYN: THE MUSICAL)
  • Not pick up on social cues and may lack inborn social skills. (NOTE: DURING THE OPENING NIGHT TOAST, EVERYONE RAISED THEIR GLASS AND THEN TOOK A DRINK. LEO DID THAT IN REVERSE.)

Many Asperger Syndrome cases remain ignored or undiagnosed and carry on without treatment. I believe this to be the case with Julia and Leo. The blatant denial of Leo’s condition is one of the more layered stories on SMASH.

7.) Ana Vargas: the Convenient Slut: When Ana isn’t easily pulling focus from Karen, she is confined to near prostitution to further another character’s plot. The Jimmy Collins backstory was moving at a glacial pace until Ana Vargas went and slutted it up with Jimmy’s brother. Ana was like, “For the love of God, Karen… I’m living a string of one night stands just so you and Jimmy can stink up our bedroom with intercourse that most likely resembles what would happen if a jackhammer mated with an hour of C-SPAN … Now I have to whore it out with Adam just so the audience can understand why Jimmy is written so one dimensionally?” Karen should back the fuck off and let Ana sing whatever she wants to in Hit List. 

8.) Too. Many. Cameos. : Donna McKechnie and Edward Hibbert played those loud theatre patrons who want everyone on the street to know how much they hated the show.  Professional show haters, such as myself, know how to communicate our disdain through stealth knee nudges and calculated eye-rolls. Edward Hibbert was not having the fact that Ivy’s bio revealed she had been, “knocking around the ensemble for years.” I guess when you’re the star, you get enough words in your bio to specify the ensemble track you had in each show. Anything over thirty words sounds luxurious to me. My last bio was restricted to fewer characters than my last tweet.

9.) The Most Masculine Broadway Opening Night Party Ever: The opening night party for Bombshell rocked. PSM Linda wasn’t invited. But other than that, the party was awesome. The event took place at the Hotel Carter and I had no idea the interior of that rape villa was so gorgeous. I decided to do some research on the glorious Hotel Carter…

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Murder? Haunted? Bed Bugs? Who cares! The Hotel Carter was giving us an all night audition for Julia Houston’s The Great Gatsby. Even Karen Cartwright showed up looking like an F. Scott Fitzgerald wet-dream. But she slowly transformed into the gothic chick who sat behind me in my eighth grade pre-algebra class.

There was a lot of awesome masculine showboating going on between Kyle, Adam, and Jimmy, but that eventually got extinguished by an ice bucket and a completely unrehearsed duet between Karen and Ivy.

Karen kept saying her Bombshell situation was like going to an ex’s wedding. This would be the moment in Ms. Cartwright’s mind where SMASH turned into My Best Friend’s Wedding and Karen became Julia Roberts to Ivy’s Cameron Diaz with Bombshell as Dermot Mulroney. Except, instead of kissing the groom and hijacking a bread van, Karen ruined the wedding with her vocals.

Ivy surely must be as naive as Cameron Diaz’s Kimmy. First she invited the other woman to sing with her, making her the maid of honor at her party, and then she sweetly assumed her new best friend wouldn’t find a way to take her Tony away from her. LOL. Have fun with that on the season finale.

10.) The Return of Daisy the Pilates Instructor: I wonder who took a bong hit and suggested bringing back an “under five” from twelve episodes ago. Enter: Daisy the Pilates Instructor. I was a big supporter of Daisy way back during “The Fall Out” episode, but now I smell shade. Who invited her to opening night? Why was she alone? And more importantly, why was a pilates instructor galavanting around Times Square at all hours of the night when she has to be at New York Sports Club by six in the morning?

Derek got borderline neanderthal around Daisy. The second Daisy said she felt remorse for taking part in the lawsuit against him, he went straight to, “You… Me… Sexy.” How SMASH could follow something as pure as Tom’s pursuit of a hookup younger than the scotch he was fueled by with Derek’s booty call approach that was one step above homo habilis is beyond me.

BOTTOM LINE: I trust Daisy the Pilates Instructor for about as long as I can hold a v-sit.

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Dress Rehearsal”

SMASH’s time was moved once again this week and I am now fairly certain they are actively trying to evade me. Well, joke’s on you SMASH, because I have nothing to do with my life at eight o’clock on a Saturday night.

I was living for this episode because it’s the closest SMASH has come this season to last year’s brilliance. Ivy slept with Derek. Karen didn’t get everything she wanted. There was even more than we ever needed to see of Ellis. After a week off from “SMASH Don’t Give a Shit,” I am happy to be back and #SoBlessed it was with an episode like this.

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Dress Rehearsal”

1.) The Gypsy Run: The truest statement ever spoken in the history of SMASH came when Ivy Lynn said, “Whoever thought it was a good idea to have your first performance be in front of your friends and family was obviously not an actor.” Any semblance of realism in this episode pretty much stopped after that.

I guess Bombshell moved from the Belasco to the Lyceum, which is actually the fictitious Lily Hayes that apparently doubles as the magical Mary Poppins bag version of theatres because that interior is HUGE. I was hoping for SMASH to go for it and really introduce the world to the kind of trashtastic event that is a typical Broadway “gypsy run.” However, a few important details were missing…

Things I wish we saw at the Bombshell final dress rehearsal:

  • An apologetic curtain speech from the director.
  • A tech table that takes up 90% of the orchestra seating.
  • Disgruntled actors who are pissed they have to sit all the way house right because said tech table is in the way.
  • A full house. That mezzanine should have been filled with Jessica and Bobby’s actor friends, judging Bombshell quietly and safely out of the production team’s earshot.
  • Those “Do You Have an Extra Ticket?” people. I’d give anything for there to have been a scene outside the Lily Hayes theatre where someone from the Liaisons cast was approached by one those homeless people who ALWAYS END UP SITTING IN FRONT OF ME AT OPENING NIGHTS. I swear I saw one of those creatures at the Matilda opening last week werk their way from the back of the balcony to house seats. No joke. That bitch was next to Peter Dinklage at the buffet. I don’t know how they do it.

2.) SMASH Still Hates Ellis: SMASH hates Ellis so much they physically brought him back to be some sort of Inception-double-dream punchline. They paid poor Jaime Cepero to come back to the role in which he was universally hated by the entire audience that watched. They made him take his shirt off and get in bed with Tom for the sole purpose of scaring the shit out of us. They wanted us to feel the horror Tom felt. I’ll admit it worked, but hasn’t Ellis been through enough? He was the face of AnnoyingActorFriend for eight months straight (the longest held by any actor to date), and now SMASH is paying him to basically be the musical theatre version of a Halloween prank. Those five seconds of screen time are five more seconds than I’ve spent on a primetime television show. So props to you, Mr. Cepero. As long as the check clears…

3.) Sam Strickland Don’t Give a Shit: Sam Strickland has evolved into that friend you have that constantly complains about their Broadway show. And I don’t know ANY OF THOSE PEOPLE. But you know what? I’m not even going to fault him for it. We don’t know how old Sam is, but if he’s the same age as Leslie Odam Jr., he did Take Me Out before graduating from college. That may not even have been his Broadway debut. Sam went from performing in the Tony Award winning Best Play of 2003, to FOURTH male swing from the left. If someone named, “Tristan” had seniority over me, I’d probably want to quit, too.

People like Sam exist. They are the performers who make it into a Broadway ensemble and that’s it. They jump from show to show, remain employed, but are essentially hitting a theatrical glass ceiling. College doesn’t teach you what to do after that. Some people are more than content living that lifestyle and some are not. I’d love to sit on a soap box and complain about how #grateful and #blessed Sam should feel, but I’d be denying the fact that he is a pretty solid representation of a group of people within this industry.

That being said, let’s get a few things straight, Mr. Strickland. You do not work for Tom. You work for Linda. Your agent needs to stay out of it, and stop calling you to let you know if you’re going on or not. Let PSM Linda do her fucking job.

4.) BOOBIES!!!: There have been many times when I felt SMASH was written by a thirteen year old girl who saw Wicked a few times and thought, “I know Broadway.” But I’m damn near positive this last episode was written by a thirteen year old boy who hasn’t figured out how to take the parental filter off the family computer. This week’s bar for maturity was set about as low as my own.

My notes for this episode have four or five separate bullet points that just read, “NUDDIE!!!” This juvenile obsession with nudity in Bombshell was on an Animal House meets Revenge of the Nerds level. And, since I’m essentially a twelve year-old, I loved every minute!

Everybody wanted to see boobies this week. Julia loved seeing the boobies. Eileen loved seeing the boobies to an extent that bordered on uncomfortable. Jessica and Bobby loved the boobies so much they went to BroadwayWorld and TheaterMania to read about how much everyone else loved the boobies. Just when the love of boobies verged on too much, SMASH dropped the subject to talk about Sam’s penis. With only six episodes remaining, I don’t think it will ever get more SMASHtastic than this.

While we’re on the subject… What exactly was underneath Ivy’s clothes? This a serious question. The two times Ivy dropped trou elicited horror from the audience. It was like in Scrooged, when the Ghost of Christmas Future opened his robe. Is nudity so taboo that audible gasps happened both times Ivy bared it all? If SMASH wanted to go the realistic route (LOL) they would have had half the audience pull out camera phones like they were at Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Just when I was about to give up on what was so shocking about Ms. Lynn’s full monty, Julia raised a glass in honor of Ivy at Table 46 and said, “girl’s got balls.”

(I warned you. I’m twelve.)

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • I got so smashed doing #smashedwithsmash last week that I have no memory of Derek and Ivy getting back together.
  • I spent twenty-five minutes debating whether or not Tom saying “Hello. Hello. Where is everybody?” was a naked reference to Bobby Child in Crazy for You.
  • Days of Our Lives promo happened during a commercial break. It’s come to that…
  • I accepted the blue Greek coffee cups because they were just on Mad Men which means they are now a pretentiously brilliant prop choice.
  • I don’t think anyone knows the actual name of the guy playing JFK.
  • Jimmy wrote nine songs and thought nine of them “might suck” when it took twenty-five people to write all of Hit List’s songs and… none of them suck.
  • Jimmy was “only on adderall”… But we’ve seen what prednisone is capable of doing in the SMASHiverse.
  • There was someone over thirty in Bombshell.
  • Bombshell ain’t got no quick change dressers.
  • William Ivey Long is not the designer because those quick change costumes would have been magnetized or velcro at the very least.
  • Julia didn’t want to bother Tom because HE WAS IN TECH.
  • Eileen walked out on yet another check at Table 46. I don’t think Eileen Rand’s national tours are full production contract.

6.) Hermi-Ana GrangerWhen Ana learned silks in five minutes, I suggested that maybe she went to Hogwarts, because only a wizard could work such magic. It may have taken Jimmy 72 hours and adderall to write nine songs, but it only took Hermi-Ana a commercial break to learn them. She must have that time changer thingy from Prisoner of Azkaban. Hopefully Hermi-Ana knows some kind of spell to protect her from all that contemporary oozing the ensemble was doing around her.

Karen really showed her true colors this week. If I opened my bedroom up for a friend in need and they treated me in the same emotionally abusive way Karen treats Ana, I’d dump their ass on the sidewalk. When Karen told Ana, “He only gave you that song because he was pissed at me” I wanted to come through the television screen and punch her in the throat. Thank God Ana said what we’ve all been thinking for twenty-six episodes… “Are you kidding? WOW.”

7.) PSM Linda Better WERK: This was PSM Linda’s chance to really shine. She called the dress rehearsal without a tech table. She broke a fog machine. She shortened the intermission. She dealt with an eight year-old. She ain’t got no ASM, so she called the show from stage right. Linda is over-werked! I guess that’s Josh Safran’s excuse for giving her a vacation for the rest of the season. Let’s hold a five minute moment of silence for PSM Linda…

Thank you, five.

Linda may be absent from the rest of the season, but you can bet I’ll find a way to shoehorn her into these recaps.

8.) Kyle’s Comeback: Just so you know, Kyle Bishop is “good at this” now. He can write a libretto. He learned how to last week. Scott and Julia taught Kyle that you don’t need to lay all your loose-leaf material out on a table and move it around at random. You can use a bulletin board and colored note cards! So back off, Jimmy Whatsername. Kyle’s got this!

In a shocking turn of events, Kyle sided with Derek’s decision to open the show with the Diva. I don’t really know if Derek actually likes Ana. I stopped paying attention when Derek, Jimmy, and Karen became Dylan, Kelly, and Brenda. I’ve already seen that show.

9.) Bombshell’s Intermission: Team Bombshell’s intermission dilemma should be studied in technical theatre school. It was that awesome. Intermission was running long because that gigantic balsa wood plane takes forever to setup. You would think they were sinking the Titanic or engaging in the Battle of Helms Deep. Julia suggests cutting and pasting “Dig Deep” to the top of Act II, to give more time for the stage hands to setup that Diet Cameron Makintosh Spectacle. I don’t understand why they didn’t just cut the plane for the first preview. Stuff like that happens all the time. For example: Thoroughly Modern Millie cut Erin Dilly before the first preview.

Moving “Dig Deep” required the number to be re-staged as an “in one.” This meant no less than ten premium ticket holding audience members had to stand in the back of the house while cast members took their seats. Actors don’t pay for tickets. Ever. So had this happened at the Gypsy Run or when I was papered in, you can bet I’d have walked out. Audience participation is my worst nightmare. I’ve never seen Act II of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. If an actor steps off the stage I get automatic hives. It’s actually scarier to me than waking up next to Ellis.

Since nobody really knows what Bombshell looks like as a fully realized piece, I’m going to have to accept the fact that “Dig Deep” made about as much sense at the top of Act II as it did in its original spot. However, I would have preferred it if Julia flexed her book writing muscles a little more and gifted us with something as truly awesome as Spider-Man‘s infamous Geek Chorus. Those skinny-jeaned-angsty-teens were Julie Taymor’s answer to, “Oh, shit. We need something to distract the audience while we’re moving the set.” The Geek Chorus consisted of six Andy Mientus’ and the Asian girl from GLEE. I’m still not entirely convinced Kyle wasn’t one of the members of the Geek Chorus. It would explain why he was waiting tables.

10.) Google Terms: Tom typed an extensive amount of terms into Google to find the New York Times article on Bombshell. He searched: bombshell, broadway, preview, wednesday. I have a feeling he could have omitted a few of those terms and still found what he wanted.

AnnoyingActorFriend.com has a feature in its statistics that allows me to see how people have accessed my site through Google and what terms they used. Allow me to share with you a few of my favorites from the last three months…

  • smash hates urban cowboy <— they sure do.
  • how annoying is new cast on smash <— #rude
  • ana from smash hairstyles <— #werk
  • steven spielberg shit <— hope this wasn’t a search for Spielberg’s actual poo.
  • shit to read <— hope this guy wasn’t let down.
  • sondheim dungeon <— #soproud
  • singing does not put food on the table singing does not pay the bills singing is no guarantee to a future even if you have got talent <— seriously word for word.
  • i’m sorry ana <— aren’t we all.
  • soyblessed urban dictionary <— SoyBlessed is not in the Urban Dictionary. #mustchangethis

 

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Parents”

Someone brought to my attention that there are seventeen episodes of SMASH this season and “The Parents” was only the ninth. Are you telling me there are EIGHT more of these? And ANOTHER one on Saturday?? With LIZA???

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Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Parents”

1.) Jimmy & Karen Get Their Swerve On: Since Ana was out being a lady of the evening, Jimmy and Karen got a chance to be sexy in the biggest one bedroom I’ve ever seen. Those girls are living production contract lives on an off-broadway salary. No wonder they need to share a room! Karen must have assumed Ana would be out a long time because she left her panties everywhere. Jimmy also didn’t give a shit because he wrapped his postcoital body in Ana’s blanket. I know it was Ana’s blanket because that shit looked Spanish and Ana Vargas is obviously very Spanish.

Jimmy and Karen clearly stated that they got up at seven in the morning and rehearsal was in one hour. Remind me to never work at the Manhattan Theatre Workshop, because if they have rehearsals at eight a.m., they will probably have school performances, too. And I don’t screlt before three.

Karen’s father showed up uninvited, but I’m not sure why Jimmy needed to pull the whole “West-Side-Story-out-the-window-and-down-the-fire-escape” bit. I mean, SMASH is obviously trying to set Ana up as the resident Hester Prynne, so Jimmy could’ve just relaxed on the couch in his underwear and said, “Sup, Iowa Pops, my girl is out grabbing neapolitan wafers and magnums. Need anything?” That would have solved all of Karen’s problems this episode. When in doubt, pin it on Ana.

2.) PSM Linda is OVER IT: Thank goodness PSM Linda was back at Bombshell rehearsals to pull their shit together. This week, her face pretty much summed up how the Broadway community feels about SMASH.

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3.) Scott Don’t Give a Shit: Scott (Jesse L. Martin) played a key role this episode by being the only person on SMASH to ever think someone might be more talented than Karen. Scott walked into the Hit List benefit rehearsal, saw Karen singing “Broadway Here I Come” and was like, “Oh, we’re mixing this song now? Yeah. I need something bigger. You…Karen’s roommate. Can you do silks?” 

Bravo, Scott. This makes up for putting Hit List into rehearsal before the director cared to cast one of its supporting roles.

4.) Swings! The Jessica & Bobby Spin-Off: Jessica and Bobby are in the ensemble. Sam is understudying the ensemble. This is known as a “swing.” Since SMASH goes to great lengths to downplay how difficult it can be to actually get into the ensemble of a Broadway show, you can imagine the kind of trash that would accept the job of a swing

I’m thinking after Bombshell closes and SMASH goes on “hiatus,” NBC should green-light a spin-off for Jessica and Bobby. It could be like a Murder She Wrote meets Will & Grace where Jessica and Bobby swing a Broadway show, but get so bored they start solving random mysteries. Call it Swings! The show would include all of Bobby’s sassy jokes that were cut from SMASH and more of Jessica’s period specific hairstyles and questionable outfit choices. The advertisements for Swings! would include photos of Jessica’s favorite rehearsal position, where she just leans on Bobby’s shoulder for an uncomfortable amount of time… I can even see the opening montage ending with a shot of Jessica and Bobby peering out from behind a door as if they were on an episode of Scooby-Doo… That seems to be their M.O. lately.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … : 

  •  The SMASHiverse is living the winter Punxsutawney Phil promised us.
  • There was a lyric in “Broadway Here I Come” that went, “will I retain my name when I’m the biggest, hugest hit.” Watch out, Mr. Sondheim!
  • I still don’t know what happened to Julia’s dramaturg boyfriend.
  • Cleopatra Rand thinks she needs Ivy’s mom in Bombshell to sell tickets but was totally chill with just Karen Cartwright as Marilyn.
  • Tom’s imagination surrounded two time Tony Award winner, Bernadette Peters, with a bunch of people waltzing.
  • Tom staged screens behind “Marilyn” and “Gladys” to stop the Bombshell ensemble from creepily staring at everything.
  • You pictured Bernadette Peters trying to sing that song with Karen as Marilyn instead of Ivy.
  • Tom had an Instagram teardrop feature around his eye the entire time Bernadette was singing. #whatafilter
  • Julia was shocked that Scott remembered her favorite tea after fifteen years. The look on her face after she drank it was a Yogi Tea Moment, if I ever saw one.

6.) Did Ana Go to Hogwarts? : Because she werked magic this week. When Ana took over after the Fringe, Jimmy said, “Ana’s good but she doesn’t have what Karen has.” I demand to know what wizard tricks Karen is capable of that could top the shit Ana pulled off this episode. Last time I checked, she was playing “the sister” in Hit List, but somewhere between drunk booking the Diva the night before and the eight a.m. rehearsal call the next morning, Ana mystically learned an entire silk aerial act. Not that I’m shocked. SMASH has already implied that Ana knows how to werk the sheets. I guess silks aren’t much different?

The best Ana moment came when she met the writer from the New York Times. Everyone was saying their full name when they introduced themselves, but not Ana Vargas. Ana was like, “I’m Ana… Bitch.” Watch out, Karen Cartwrong, your roommate is rockin’ one name and could probably wingardium leviosa your ass.

7.) Karen’s Dad Needs to Stop: Is it me, or was Karen’s dad just way too into everything going on in her life? No wonder Karen requires so much attention from everyone. I wish my father cared that much about the quality of shows I chose to do. I could be performing in Applebees’s: the musical and he’d be like, “How close will you be to home?”

8.) The Picture of Bernadette Peters: Somewhere in a storage room on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there sits a painting of a twenty-five year old Bernadette Peters that now resembles how she looked in act one of Into the Woods. I’m positive that Ms. Peters commissioned a portrait of herself in 1983 and it has been aging for her ever since.

Most of the Leigh Conroy/Ivy Lynne storyline bored me because there were things like listening, responding, and relationship growing going on. That is not why I signed on, SMASH. Bobby was right when he said, “This is boring. I want my cat fight, already.” This would have been so much better on a prednisone bender. Maybe Jimmy can take his mystery drug over to the mystery studios in the Flatiron district and get this party started.

9.) Throwing Kyle Under the Bus: Scott went to Julia to beg her to be his “dramaturg” on Hit List. I guess even the Artistic Director at the Manhattan Theatre Workshop doesn’t know what a show doctor is. This was an awesome opportunity for yet another character to throw Kyle (A.K.A. President of the Hit List Fan Club) under the bus. Scott simply couldn’t be bothered with Kyle adding the Diva into the second act himself, despite the fact it was his idea.

Kyle seems so happy to be there that I guess he doesn’t notice his presence is being met with such indifference. I honestly don’t know why Kyle hasn’t purchased a one way ticket to AngstyLand, where Jimmy is the Prime Minister. Maybe Kyle just don’t give a shit! He’s like, “As long as the checks clear!” (Except there aren’t any checks and that is why Jimmy had to steal a watch that some patron at the Hit List Kickstarter was keeping in a box in their coat)

SMASH has been throwing Kyle under the proverbial bus so much lately that I’m just waiting for them to literally shove him in front of an M60.

10.) SMASH Fans Don’t Give a Shit: As NBC has pointed out, SMASH viewers may be few, but they are wealthy. They are also dignified. While I would love to get a martini thrown in my face for some of the things I have said about SMASH, the fans and everyone surrounding the show have kept it classy. I respect that. You #werk SMASH! The GLEEKS, on the other hand, are a completely different story…

I learned a valuable lesson this week: DON’T EVER START A GLEE RECAP.

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95% of Gleeks Are a Walking Endorsement for Pro-Choice

You know you’ve arrived when the death threats start rolling in. I feel like the Jenny Johnson of Broadway and the Gleeks are my Team Breezy. I don’t know what to say! I feel #SoBlessed. Or shall I say, #SoShitDickFuckingBlessed.

SMASH Moves to Saturdays…

SMASH will now move to Saturday nights at 9pm. It was inevitable. Even MY ratings are dropping. Let’s go out with a bang, shall we? In an effort to speed these recaps along, I think I’ll pre-game with SMASH at 9pm on Saturday night and write “SMASH Don’t Give a Shit” completely blasted. Who’s with me? #smashtag will now officially join forces with #trashedtag. I can’t be held responsible for what this will lead to…

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Bells and Whistles”

Forgive me if this week’s recap is short and disconnected. I’ve been on the phone all day in negotiations for the pilot I booked before the show I am on was officially cancelled. I’m not sure why the last episode of SMASH is called, “The Bells and Whistles,” but since most of it revolved around being sexy, and bells and whistles are some of the safer props in Sondheim’s sex dungeon, I hope it has something to do with that.

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Bells and Whistles”

1.) Julia is Going to Die: It was announced this week that Debra Messing booked a pilot for CBS and is expected to leave SMASH. Last time I checked, SMASH is moving to Saturday nights, and not quite ready for me to light a candle for it in church, next to the ones I dedicate weekly to NBC’s Bionic Woman and the new Knight Rider.

I can’t imagine Debra Messing throwing SMASH under the bus, so the only other possibility is that Julia is going to be the “one good death” this season. Debra Messing sure is lucky she’s on SMASH, because when you die on Mad Men, AMC makes you miss pilot season as to not raise suspicion. But NBC don’t give a shit! They’re like, “Yeah, Debra. That’s fine.”

2.) Mimi Márquez Becomes a PublicistIn typical SMASHion (SMASH Fashion), we got a new guest star that has an obvious connection to another guest star, but won’t ever share the frame with them. This time, Daphne Rubin-Vega kept her ass far away from Jesse L. Martin. I was stoked to see that Ms. Rubin-Vega has been working on her acting beats since her star turn as “Woman with Baby Voice” in the Sex and the City movie. All that Tennessee Williams must have paid off because she had to have a scene with Eileen, talk on the phone, and text all at the same time. Daphne better #werk! However, It was a little confusing when she said she, “hit menopause while on hold,” because we all know Ms. Rubin-Vega hit menopause somewhere around the second verse of “Out Tonight.”

3.) Tom’s Party: Tom Levitt threw a party for the Bombshell cast that was very similar to one of the post-conservatory anxiety nightmares I used to have. Singing and dancing around a piano with hats and canes? This party would have been totally cool when I was a senior in high school! We got to see Sam, Jessica, and Bobby do a cracked out version of “Good Mornin’,” complete with Toddlers and Tiaras facial expressions. I mean, Bobby was like one “oooh!” face away from doing cupcake hands. Whenever a party gets this awesome, I usually find a way to ninja out.

4.) SMASH Hates Lea Michele: A few weeks back, I suggested that Lea Michele might be on SMASH’s Shit List (a list comprised of Broadway names dropped on SMASH). This week it became clear that Lea Michele is on a completely different shit listJimmy’s shit list. I’d like to think Jimmy dated Lea Michele at one point because he seems to have a similar taste in women. Whether that be true or not, Jimmy hates Lea Michele. And SMASH hates Lea Michele more.

SMASH hates Lea Michele so much it equated her to Beetlejuice, a dead person whose sole purpose in life is to scare people away. I wish Jimmy said her name three times, like Derek suggested, and we just WENT THERE. Karen is halfway to Lydia Deetz as it is. In fact, Karen didn’t get to sing this episode and I was just waiting for her to write some pouty note that read:

i am alone. i am utterly alone.
by the time you read this i will be gone.
having jumped. having plummeted off the brooklyn bridge.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • The new staging for “Let Me Be Your Star” is to just have the ensemble stand around Marilyn and react at how good she is.
  • Bombshell ensemble member (Reed Kelly) stood between Julia and Tom to do some stretch mugging. You werk that penché!
  • PSM Linda wasn’t invited to Tom’s party. Nor was anyone over twenty-eight.
  • The Hit List plot line was interrupted just to show that Tom had gotten some.
  • Sam got a twelve hour “out” of his Book of Mormon contract.
  • Kyle finds out whatever is under his new boyfriend’s stocking hat.

6.) Bombshell is the New Spider-Man: Eileen keeps calling Bombshell the biggest musical to ever hit Broadway. She might be right. The Broadway production of Bombshell has been in rehearsals longer than Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark previewed. In the amount of time it has taken for Bombshell to make it to tech, Liaisons has rehearsed, previewed, opened, and closed, and Hit List has gone from fifteen pages of chicken scratch, to the Fringe, to rehearsing Off-Broadway.

If Bombshell is going to rival Spider-Man, it’s going to need a moment when Marilyn encounters a drag queen super villain tipping down center stage. They should cut the JFK number and just do that.

7.) Jimmy’s Obstacles: I felt like I was in some weird episode of The Twilight Zone because Jimmy started saying things that made sense. You know SMASH don’t give a shit when Jimmy Collins becomes the voice of reason. First, he slammed Derek for always adding crap to distract the audience from the plotand then ripped him a new one for basically copying Ghost. Jimmy must have started giving a shit, or reading the boards at BroadwayWorld.com.

Derek finally got a clue and listened to Jimmy. They had this awesome conversation about how “other people” get in the way of two people falling in love. Derek decided to take that concept literally when he staged the next number in .15 seconds.

We cut to Derek explaining to the cast how there are many “obstacles” getting in the way of Hit List’s two main characters. You know that scene in Wayne’s World, when Wayne opens the door to a bunch of ninjas training for a James Bond movie? This was just like that. Except, instead of ninjas, Derek opened the door to a Mia Michaels sweat shop.

8.) Tom the Lover: Tom pretty much just wanted to have sex in this episode. I wonder if he’s the same in bed as he is in the rehearsal room. If so, remind me never to date Tom Levitt. First he’d be like, “Oh, please. Do whatever you want! I’m open to suggestions! In fact, why doesn’t everyone just come over and show me what they like!” and then the second the lights went out he’d be like, “I’m sorry. I’d love to see you do it someday but it’s not working.”

9.) Scenes for Next Week: Apparently Bernadette Peters is coming back to SMASH next week. You wouldn’t know that by the “scenes for next week” featured at the end of the episode. Instead of giving us a sneak peak of whatever song Ivy’s mom decides to randomly pull out of her ass when she visits the Bombshell cast, we got to see a bunch of random clips of what looked like Jimmy stealing a watch that someone bought at Target. Werk, SMASH! Way to know your audience! If there’s one thing the musical theatre freaks left still watching this show love more than Sondheim’s muse, it’s that Jimmy plot line you haven’t touched since the last episode Kyle served a purpose.

10.) Ana is a Diva: Jesse L. Martin must not really give a shit about the Manhattan Theatre Workshop if he allowed Hit List to go into rehearsal before casting one of its starring roles. Ana decided she was pissed playing the sister and thought it was time to “put herself out there” and audition for the role of the Diva for Derek at the one place she feels most comfortable. A bar.

According to Ana, putting yourself “out there” includes chugging whiskey, singing about drinking “beer with the guys,” and nearly getting hit in the face by swinging balls. I’m not sure if Ana took any real risks here. This just sounds like a normal Thursday afternoon for her. In the end, Derek offered Ana the role and she honestly couldn’t give two shits. She was like, “That’s cool. Buy me booze.” Ana needs a spinoff.

 

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “Musical Chairs”

SMASH was on last night? Last time I checked, it was moved to Saturday to make way for Gabby Solis Presents The Bachelor on the Deal or No Deal Set. However, my Debra Messing anxiety dream last night (#truestory) suggests that I missed one of the final primetime airings of SMASH.

Good thing I am a self respecting television viewer between the ages of 18-49 that doesn’t want the Nielsen Company judging my excessive addiction to reruns of Who’s the Boss? and Legends of the Hidden Temple, otherwise I may have sabotaged last night’s SMASH ratings by not tuning in.

Now that I’ve caught up on A&E’s Bates Motel, where the kid from Finding Neverland reminds you just how old you’ve gotten, I’m ready to move on to last night’s SMASH, where Julia coincidentally revealed her Norman Bates-esque obsession with Marilyn Monroe’s mother…

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “Musical Chairs”

1.) Karen Candy Apple-gate: Since Derek peace’d out of Bombshell, Jerry and/or Eileen had to hire a new choreographer. Apparently they decided to hire Cathy from Candy Apples, because that new version of “National Pastime” is straight up Dolly Dinkle Dance Studio. And I LOVED IT. Karen did her best Vivi-Anne, by falap-ball-changing around the stage and causing Jerry to say, “What the hell am I watching?” You’re watching GOLD, Jerry. Karen’s doing wings. This is genius! Tom loves it because he thinks the dancers are, “levitating.” This was a prime opportunity for Tom to pun-fully play off his last name and say, “Levitt-tating.” I mean, Linda would have. But Tom missed his chance. Perhaps he was distracted by all the AWESOME.

The new Bombshell choreographer has his finger on the pulse of what this show really needs. Derek’s version required death defying lifts that only Ivy could perform. I think I remember the dancers actually launching her through the air at one point. Karen’s like, “HELL NO.” This choreographer knows Karen’s strengths. I feel like he’s the type of guy who would pull a Christina Applegate in Sweet Charity and just make Karen leave the stage for ten to twelve eight counts. #ThatsHowYouDoItBitch

2.) 525,600 References: This episode gave us references to everything from Seth Rudetsky to Fosse to John Cameron Mitchell. My favorite moment came when Derek told Jimmy and Kyle that their change to Hit List, “Can be small. RENT had a narrator after its workshop and they got to Broadway.” He may have also said, had an arranger. I don’t know because I don’t speak Douche. Either way, he talks about RENT so passively. You’d think he was still dumfounded the show made it to Broadway, and forgot it won the Pulitzer Prize and that JONATHAN LARSON DIED. Geeze, Derek, it’s one thing to not give a shit, but it’s an entirely different thing to disrespect the Musical Phenomenon That Defined A Generation.

3.) Karen Takes a Town Car: Karen stopped by Greenpoint, Brooklyn to visit Kyle and Jimmy. She made a playful dig at how the boys live on 24-601 Butt Fucking Egypt Avenue by teasing, “I was just gonna lie and say I was in the neighborhood.” I’d like to think Karen took the forty-seven trains it requires to get to their loft, but we all know that bitch took a town car. She’s Karen Cartwright! And Karen Cartwright don’t have time to listen to shit like, “we are being momentarily held by the train’s dispatcher,” “if you see something, say something,” or “Queens bound seven train.”

Karen also showed up with some caffeinated beverages for motivation. She couldn’t be bothered to bring Jimmy and Kyle Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or even Dunkin’ Donuts. NOPE! Karen Cartwright showed up with generic brown cup bodega sludge. Really, Karen? You’re a star! Couldn’t you at least afford some of that coffee that comes in the cup that Candice Bergen wore to the 2012 Tony Awards?

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WEERRRKKKQ!

4.) Table 46: Jimmy and Kyle’s former part-time employer saw a lot of face time this episode. I say part-time, because I haven’t seen them work there since before Obama’s State of the Union Address. Either they are making a butt load of cash figuring out a theme for Hit List, or the tips at Table 46 are so lucrative, you only need to work one shift a week. While Kyle and Jimmy remind me nothing of Mark and Roger in RENT, they could probably teach those boys a few things about how to be a tortured artist and still pay your bills on time.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • Karen told Tom she didn’t see eye to eye with his Jayne Mansfield suggestion which was her way of saying she doesn’t know who Jayne Mansfield is.
  • Tom Levitt became Jerry Mitchell.
  • Bombshell is headed toward TECH!
  • Someone said that Tom needs Karen’s respect. LOL.
  • Kyle officially became the president of the Hit List fan club and nothing else.
  • Eileen mentioned that she’s made a lot of mistakes in her life. Starting with those bangs.
  • Karen scoffed at Derek for likening himself to Fosse while we scoffed at Derek for likening Karen to Gwen Verdon.
  • Nobody pays bills at Table 46.
  • Derek must check in everywhere on FourSquare, because how else did Julia find him at his private meeting with Tom Collins when he won’t return any of her phone calls?
  • Everything seemed to work out perfectly for everyone timing wise. Meanwhile I can’t get a final callback for anything, unless I book a vacation without trip insurance first.

6.) Princess Karen: I don’t know what Karen has or what everyone around her is smoking, but I want some of it! Tom groveled to Karen on her building’s stoop and Derek basically fell to her feet at the Liaisons opening. Personally, I think Tom’s flowers were a bit over the top. The last muse I pissed off seemed perfectly content with the spray painted daisies I found on 43rd and 8th.

I must acknowledge that Princess Karen did show a glimmer of genuine emotion for how Ivy would feel should she accompany Tom to the opening night of Liaisons. Tom explained that Ivy, “understands the situation.” Thank god Ivy understands the situation, because I sure as hell don’t!

I guess Ivy just don’t give a shit that she spent ten years in the chorus to finally land a leading role in a production she is not proud of, while Karen only needed a little over a year to have her pick of the hottest projects in town. Ivy don’t give a shit because no matter how quickly starring on Broadway happens for Karen Cartwright, it’s still embarrassingly longer than it took for this guy…

.

 

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.

7.) SH-META : SMASH got so self-referencial this episode, I wondered if the writers just started doing direct transcriptions of actual conversations between people working on the show.

I get this feeling one of the writers was like, “Um. I don’t know how to write the scene for Ivy and Terry when he decides to go crazy at the Liaisons opening,” and another writer was like, “Just use that voice memo I took of our showrunner talking to Megan.”

JOSH SAFRAN

I’ve been on the boards all afternoon. BroadwayWorld. All That Chat. TheatreMania. Did you know our show is, “meh”?

MEGAN HILTY

I’m sorry?

JOSH SAFRAN

Yeah, I’ve been called a lot of things in my career, but meh? Is there anything worse? The only thing they seem to like is you. You said we’d made this better!

MEGAN HILTY

We did make it better. Better from terrible.

JOSH SAFRAN

You think they’re right?

MEGAN HILTY

I don’t know what this show is anymore. I guess we didn’t have enough time to fix it. Can I make a confession? I wish I could get out of this show, I really hate it.

JOSH SAFRAN

Oh, I hate you in it. I’m sorry. I do. You’re too good. It’s annoying.

MEGAN HILTY

There’s just something better for me out there. For you too.

AND SCENE.

I love that movie star Terry Falls gave a shout out to the message boards I never post on unless it’s to anonymously praise my own show. I’m certain the Andy Rooneys over at All That Chat are currently discussing the use of the word, “meh” and how it applies to everything they see now, because Merman did it better.

8.) Playbill.com Don’t Give a Shit: While we’re on the subject of Broadway themed web sites, when did Playbill.com go from being the unbiased source for theatre news to full on TMZ? Getting your name on Playbill.com used to be a rite of passage. Now they’re just doing schtick and writing sarcastic SMASH recaps.

As an actor, I’m contractually obligated to hate SMASH. But Playbill.com don’t give a shit either! They’re like, “I don’t care if this TV show is a national public love letter to our industry. I want to play, too!” I expect this behavior from BroadwayWorld, but Playbill? Maybe they should go back to the hard hitting journalism they’re used to… Like, trolling Michael Riedel’s column, actorsequity.com casting notices, and everybody’s twitter page for news stories.

9.) Ana Must Really Suck: We got to see Ana play the lead role in Hit List. She’s great, and all. But she doesn’t have what Karen has. And I still don’t know what Karen has. Ana must be bad, because just the thought of Karen coming back to Hit List caused Kyle to hug her in the same tender way I hugged my urologist when he told me my hernia surgery recovery time wouldn’t delay getting hot for Broadway Bares.

10.) Ivy Don’t Give a Shit: Terry Falls’ unplanned departure from Liaisons will result in the loss of werk for hundreds of stagehands, actors, ushers, etc. I’m pissed. Those female ensemble costumes were so fabulous, I was hoping to see their Times Square counterparts give those Chicago flyer girls a run for their Hotcha.

I don’t ever want a show to close, no matter how much I may SMASH-talk it. But Ivy don’t give a shit! She’s like, “I’m gonna be Marilyn, bitches!!!” Ivy gave about as much of a shit that Veanne Cox was going to be out of a job as Veanne Cox did when she dicked over Meg Ryan by not doing her book signing at the Shop Around the Corner.

Ivy bolted out of the Broadway Theatre, gave a huge sigh of relief, and proudly began the long walk toward Times Square like she was Viola Davis at the end of The Help. She didn’t even acknowledge her clearly devastated cast. Fierce. That’s the Ivy Lynn I’m talkin’ about!

#truestory

I did, in fact, have a SMASH induced dream last night that involved me meeting Debra Messing in a garden. She explained to me that it was time for her to quit the business and I valiantly tried to talk her out of it… I think this means it’s time for Game of Thrones to come back on.

SMASH Don’t Give a Shit: “The Fringe”

According to NBC.com, the latest episode of SMASH is called, “The Fringe.” I honestly wasn’t sure because nobody ever once said the title. As many of you know, I never watch SMASH when it airs because I’m on Broadway. Streaming it off my iPad proved tedious this morning due to some excessive buffering. I soon realized it was because my hairstyle wasn’t asymmetrical enough to view anything taking place in the Hit List plot line. Now that I’m back from the East Village with the right side of my head shaved off, I’m ready to rock!

Top 10 Times SMASH Didn’t Give a Shit and Other Things I Loved: “The Fringe”

1.) It’s the Fringe! : Two weeks have passed in the SMASHiverse and now Hit List is ready to debut at FringeNYC. I’m going to ignore the fact that the amount of time between the FringeNYC application deadline and day of performance is actually longer than the amount of time that has taken place between the pilot and this episode. SMASH don’t give a shit! It’s the Fringe. The Fringe is where it’s at. Your show might be in a basement now, but sometimes you break out! Just ask Urinetown. And… Urinetown.

Kyle is really excited because “real people are coming.” Not the fake kind of people that come whenever our producers paper the house. You know who else is coming for you, Kyle? The FringeNYC Legal Team. Because now they own 2% of everything Hit List ever does. I guess it will end up being Kyle’s 2% because Jimmy will eventually throw him under the bus for doing absolutely nothing. Werk!

The Fringe was another great moment for Ana to not give a shit. I don’t know what the hell she does in Hit List, but she was forced to perform with non-equity people. So that explains why she was hanging outside the theatre at five minute call. Ana is like, “Um. This is a Showcase contract…” Ana also don’t give a shit about winter. Jimmy complained that there wasn’t any heat in the theatre, yet Ana is completely comfortable galavanting with Karen outside in a sleeveless top. We didn’t see her day drink in this episode, but I’m pretty sure she was warm from being high on awesome.

2.) Jerry Gives a Shit! : I want Jerry to produce everything. He sees through all the bullshit. Jerry thinks that Bombshell has “a lot of music” and one song “too many.” A wise man once tweeted, “Somewhere in the bowels of the Titanic, there is a trunk big enough to fit all the songs written for Bombshell” I agree with Jerry. I don’t like songs that are intellectual either. I like songs that make me feel something. They can’t be both. That’s why Jerry and I enjoy She Loves Me. Bock and Harnick wrote dumb, unintellectual songs but they make me feel good cause they sound pretty.

Jerry also said, and forgive me if I’m paraphrasing, “If we’re not going to have a star we need to put a lot of crap around her.” This leads Tom to surround Karen with a bunch of distracting dancers. I hope the future Michael Bennetts of Broadway are paying attention. Divas can’t sing alone. Derek taught us this when he re-imagined Veronica Moore’s “I Got Love” and Karen’s “They Just Keep Moving the Line.” Audiences like shiny things that distract from the plot.

3.) Introducing Karen Cartwright: Look, an Ivy-free Bombshell only works if it’s Bombshell: Introducing Karen Cartwright. Nobody is going to go see Bombshell if they find out the star they’re “introducing” did two performances in a festival that showcases two hundred productions. I almost bought tickets to see Thoroughly Modern Millie: Introducing Sutton Foster, but then I found out she had already done four Broadway shows, so I demanded a refund. Jerry is right. Introducing ain’t Introducing unless it’s INTRODUCING. We all know what happened when NBC tried to sell SMASH: Introducing Katharine McPhee like we had completely forgotten House Bunny or that other thing she did in the spring of 2006. Karen ended up doing Hit List anyway, and when she made her entrance in “Heart Shaped Wreckage,” she was giving us full on Soul Botox.

4.) People Still Hate Ellis: Ellis has been off our television sets for nearly ten months, but his ex-girlfriend (Phylicia Rashad’s daughter) came back to tell us that he was a “psychopath” and “gay.” I’m really glad they resolved her plot line. Cynthia Moran was honestly the most sympathetic character from season one. Her boyfriend may have been gay. He may have also been a psychopath. But you know what’s worse? He was Ellis.

SMASH has yet to acknowledge Julia’s pregnancy cliffhanger from last season, but they brought back Cynthia McClueless to let us all know she’s moved on. Ok…Ok… I guess she was really there to tell Karen something shady was up with Jerry. Who cares??? This moment when Cynthia joked about Ellis was honestly the first time I’ve seen genuine emotion in Karen Cartwright’s eyes. That’s how much people hate Ellis. I actually think SMASH is bringing Ellis back later in the season just to kill him off.

5.) That Awkward Moment When … :

  • Ana’s boyfriend tried to play the piano but couldn’t find the beat.
  • Margo Lewinsky slowly began her transformation into Ellis.
  • Morgan James attended the first performance of Hit List and tweeted about it. #horrified.
  • The Liaisons cast got in full makeup and costume for a press event where the ensemble stood behind the performers so the reporters could see their own self judgement.
  • The Liaisons director was pretty much just a dramatization of every PA I’ve ever had.
  • Karen offerred to give Understudy Audrey some “pointers.”
  • Jimmy said he was going to go, “get high.” Not drunk. Not stoned. Not coked out. What exactly is Jimmy’s mystery drug? Is it the same as Ana’s?
  • NBC Universal gave a rather subtle plug for their other troubled show, WICKED. “Nine years later it’s still one of the highest grossing shows on Broadway!”
  • Karen told Derek her big break may never happen again. LOL, Karen.
  • Cleopatra Rand shot an entire scene in broad daylight.
  • Julia and Tom went to Chinatown.
  • Julia and Tom spent roughly eight hours in Chinatown.
  • Karen got the “none for Gretchen Weiners” cold shoulder when Jesse L. Martin invited Team Hit List out for drinks.

6.) Jimmy Don’t Give a Shit about Kickstarter: Jimmy is stressed out about how much of his own money he spent producing Hit List at the Fringe. He even suggests going back to work at “Table 46,” which is strange because I swore Jimmy had a new job at “Drinking Beer & Wearing Grey Wife-beaters R Us.” 

I don’t understand this concept of spending your own money on your extracurricular activity. Last time I checked, that’s what Kickstarter.com was for. Like… I’m still scratching my head over this… Where did Jimmy get all that money from? Was it in his bank account? Did he work for it? I’m confused. The only way I know how to fund a staged reading, album, web series, Veronica Mars movie, or my most recent vacation is by shamelessly asking my friends for money on Kickstarter. This was one of the rare times when SMASH went from playfully not giving a shit, to just plain unrealistic.

7.) Never Understudy Karen: Clearly PSM Linda liked Julia’s other draft of Bombshell better, because she couldn’t be bothered to show up to rehearsal this episode. If she had, then I doubt Karen would be allowed to bolt out after Derek and then just hop in a cab and forget to go back to see if rehearsal was actually canceled. I’m sure Linda would have made them run music or something. Don’t fuck with Linda.

Karen makes it back down to the Fringe and Understudy Audrey is given the boot. Karen loves to wait until her understudy is hair and makeup ready before making a glorious entrance. Last time she did this to someone, Ivy almost deep throated a bottle of Prednisone. Covering Karen is DANGEROUS. Since we never actually see what happened to Understudy Audrey, I can only assume she died.

8.) Bombshell’s EnsembleVeanne Cox provided the most meta moment of the evening when she said, “I have never been so ashamed of my work before. And I was in Urban Cowboy.” Ms. Cox was not actually in Urban Cowboy. She is, however, on SMASH. She is also suggesting that Urban Cowboy, a musical that appeared to only have been produced to showcase Matt Cavenaugh’s abs, in fact, included a character woman. That’s one more character actor than has ever been present in Bombshell.

Instead, the womanizing Derek Wills’ has given us an ensemble of male body builders in cut off shirts. And these boys are giving me ACTING BEATS during Tom’s version of “Never Give All the Heart.” At one point a male dancer walks to Karen, shrugs, and places one hand behind the back of his neck and the other one firmly in his pocket. I call this the, “Look-How-Cute-And-Conflicted-I-Am” position. It comes right after fifth. I also call FOUL. This guy must have seen my summer season at Forestburgh Playhouse where I used the exact same move as Tulsa, Rolf, Tommy Djilas, the son in La Cage, Baby John, and Tevye. I invented that shit.

9.) Hit List vs. Rent: Hit List is the new Rent. I know this because one of the original cast members of Rent picked up the show to bring it to the Manhattan [New York] Theatre Workshop where Rent premiered. I also know this because Derek Wills’ vision for Hit List is actually Baz Luhrmann’s vision for La Boheme which is an opera based on Rent. And since Kyle doesn’t do anything, I guess Jimmy is also the new Jonathan Larson. The only difference between Rent and Hit List, is Rent had AIDS and Hit List has ANGST. I happen to believe ANGST is a serious epidemic sweeping musical theatre. After years of sitting through shows like Spring Awakening and American Idiot, I almost started my own foundation: Broadway Cares / Equity Fights ANGST.

10.) Jimmy Wildhorn: In previous racaps, I stated that Kyle wrote the lyrics for Hit List as well as the book. I stand corrected. Kyle doesn’t write the lyrics, and last week his friends all but set fire to his book. So… I guess Kyle is head cheerleader now? Since Jimmy’s songs always include a well placed key change and the inability to further the plot, he is pretty much Frank Wildhorn. Karen is obviously Linda Eder. That makes Kyle one of those fans that sees the show three times a week on a rush ticket. Don’t fuck with those people. Those are the same people that kept The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway through four incarnations. Kyle is probably the most important person on the Hit List team. Never underestimate a crazed Broadway fan with a shit ton of time on their hands and a student ID.

A Public Letter to Ivy Lynn:

Dear Ms. Lynn,

You need to stop. You need to stop this madness now. I no longer wish to see you engaging in a well executed arc. How dare you break rank and actually grow as a character.

If you want to win back my trust, I suggest you snatch some of Terry Falls’ meds and take to Duffy Square to perform a one woman concert as Rihanna/Judy Garland doing the music of Elton John in a costume by William Ivey Long. I don’t want depth, Ivy. I want Showgirls. I want you to throw beads on the stage at Liaisons, I want you to have an erotic seizure in the pool at the SoHo House, and for the love of God Ivy, do a pique turn.

Come back to us. Please.

With love and concern,

@Actor_Friend