Cult favorite TV series Smash continues its road towards Broadway, where the musical was announced to bow in the 2024-2025 season earlier this year. According to Variety, industry readings will be held for the still-in-development project in NYC September 22 at Open Jar Studios, led by Robyn Hurder as Ivy and Kerry Butler as Karen.
Though character names have been retained, the plot of the upcoming musical reportedly differs from the TV series, though it will still track the development of a fictional Marilyn Monroe biomusical. The book is being written by Bob Martin (The Prom) and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), with Some Like It Hot's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman back writing the score after composing songs for the series.
Also involved in the reading are Alex Brightman and Krysta Rodriguez as a married composer-lyricist duo, Vanessa Williams as the show's producer, Brooks Ashmanskas as the show's director, and Bonnie Milligan as his associate director. Kristine Nielsen is an acting coach, and Justin Cooley is an intern.
A six-week workshop is scheduled for February 2024.
As reported last year, the theatre-centric series' long journey to the stage has shifted from a fully realized production of the series' fictional Marilyn Monroe bio-musical Bombshell (which did play a one-night-only benefit concert for the then-Actors Fund in 2015) to a musical adaptation of the series itself, with many of the series' songs joining new tunes by Shaiman and Wittman. It's unclear if "Let's Be Bad," written for Smash but now interpolated into the Broadway score of Shaiman and Wittman's Some Like It Hot, will be included—though the duo left room for that possibility speaking to Playbill about it last year.
The show, which aired on NBC for two seasons beginning in 2012, followed writers Julia and Tom, loosely modeled on Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, creating a fictitious musical about screen icon Marilyn Monroe, with the first season following the fight for the lead between newcomer Karen Cartwright and seasoned chorus girl Ivy Lynn. The stage musical will follow the process of mounting Bombshell, but will otherwise "depart liberally from the series," according to press notes.