Friday, February 08, 2013

Happy Dance Friday #114 & Son of Saturday at the Movies #3: Smash

I've been a snow bunny as long as I can remember, and according to family, even before that. My mother used to have to make me come inside and change snowsuits after a couple of hours because I'd soak the first one through; snowy days were the only ones where I insisted on playing outside all day long. There are many pictures of a very young me with snowmen, on sleds, etc. In short, snow always makes me want to happy dance.

As does the return of Smash for a second season, so that made picking this week's happy dance easy. No snow in this one, but we do have a full on Bollywood explosion of opulence, gorgeous costuming, a great set, plus choreography that makes me want to jump to my feet and join in.

This is another clip I've watched countless times, because there's so much to see - the colors, the huge ensemble, the character tableaux that say quite a lot in a very small frame, and above all, the storytelling. Which is also a huge part of Smash.

A drama about putting together a Broadway musical? Sold. With Katharine McPhee? Sold again; I remember watching her when she was on American Idol and hoping I'd get to see more of her work. Debra Messing is in it, too? Triple sold. I am also weak, weak, weak for British characters in NYC (I thank a friend of my mom's when I was tiny for giving me this bent; Mrs. Bloomer, did you know the seed you planted?) Quadruple sold. Drama and intrigue surrounding the audition process? Ah, they know how to sink their hooks into my very heart. I love, love, love the audition process. In college, I would audition for parts I had no chance of ever getting (including musicals, and I freely admit to having been kicked out of high school robe choir for having a bad voice - teacher's own words, in front of everyone) as well as the ones I could and did get, all because of the rush of standing on that stage and having the full attention of whoever was in those seats, watching to see if I had what they were looking for, feeling the give and take of creative energy.

Then the rehearsals begin, and things get crazy. Though I like Raz Jeffrey's character, Dev, and hope to see more of him in season two (don't burst my bubble yet if you have spoilers, please) I had to sypmathize with Ms. McPhee's Karen, who responded to Dev's proposal with "I'm in tech! Even the financial backing can get insane and everybody has an angle. For some, chaos. For me, bliss.

I can't let this go without mentioning Megan Hilty's character, Ivy. One of the first characters I ever created, back when my day still involved homework and catching a big yellow bus, was named Ivy Lynn, and yes, she was a singer. Bit of a moment there when I first heard Ms. Hilty's character introduce herself. While I'd assumed I'd be rooting for Karen to get the role, then I saw all the work Ivy put into the workshop, and my head did more flip-flopping than a bin of rubber sandals on opening day at the beach. Karen, no, Ivy, no, Karen, no, wait, they're bringing in someone else? Then multiple Marilyns in the shadow selves, then the show's off, then it's on, and now a rival musical may be in the works.

Have you been watching Smash? Who's your favorite Marilyn? Favorite new twist/cast addition? Share in comments, and if Nemo's finding you this weekend, stay safe.

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