Okay, so I will be the first one to admit NBC's "Smash"musical-theatre themed drama is highly flawed and tonally inconsistent. But as someone for whom showtunes provided the soundtrack to my elementary and adolescent years, it's fun to have a chance to nerd out once a week when I see the likes of Bernadette Peters on network TV (or rather, my computer screen. Hulu, baby!). I totally fell to pieces when I watched this mother-daughter ballad last week:
But the main pleasure of "Smash" has been the insider baseball-ness of the whole operation, from last year's behind-the-scenes drama involving showrunner Theresa Rebeck to the irony of Megan Hilty's character on TV being constantly passed over for the part of Marilyn in favor of an "American Idol" star while actual Broadway producers cast her in the revival of Monroe's iconic role in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
And no entertainment source has been quite as complicit in my slipping into the vortex of theatre geekdom than New York Magazine's Vulture blog, where Rachel Shukert has elevated the tv recap to a work of frenzied, surrealist art. Observe below:
Take Me Out
truly that a bean can begin an adventure?
This particular tangent stokes my inner Broadway fan girl on a number of levels. Not only do I have vividly awkward memories of seeing the full-frontal shower scenes of Broadway's Take Me Out while sitting next to my father, I also delight in the imagined (though wouldn't we all like to imagine it was real?) rivalry over Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone scheming to steal each other's parts ever since LuPone and Arthur Laurents decided to bring a new Gypsy to Broadway only five years after Peters dark, Sam Mendes-helmed revival. (Incidentally, I saw both versions and am totally team Bernadette, obviously. I also think that drama would be so much more entertaining than "Smash.")