Friday, April 5, 2013

Smashed, April 5, 2013

The Parents
by Stuart Munro

Hello friends! The semester is over, my classes are done, and it’s time to celebrate with Smash!

It’s the following morning for Hit List stars Karen and Jimmy, but just as they’re trying to enjoy a nice quiet romantic morning together, Karen’s dad shows up, forcing Jimmy to evacuate the apartment via the window. At rehearsal, Ana gets added to the roster for a fundraiser happening that evening, and somehow the number that’s not quite ready is transformed into an elaborate aerial silk extravaganza. I mean, it’s cool and all, but huh? How did this get thrown together in a day? When Richard Francis from the Times misses Karen’s number and sees Ana’s, the focus starts to shift to her. Which I didn’t really get. The number was cool because of the aerials, not because of Ana’s performance. Jimmy, meanwhile, is being stalked by some dude in a parka who’s trying to collect the money Jimmy owes him. Out of desperation, Jimmy starts to rummage through the wealthy patrons’ belongings in the coatcheck during the fundraiser, until Derek spots him and offers to loan him the $8,000 he needs to pay off the man in the parka. Once that’s all settled, Jimmy walks away with a bag of cocaine, and we’re left with the knowledge that Collins isn’t his real last name. Cue the spooky music.

(“This is boring. I want my catfight already.”)

Over at Bombshell, Ivy has no idea that her overbearing mother, Leigh Conroy (played by Bernadette Peters), is coming to star in the show. When she finds out, she’s . . . less than thrilled. Eileen is pleased, because it gives the show some star power, but Tom and Julia both seem to recognize just how awkward this is going to be. Still. It gets Bombshell on the cover of the arts section of the Times. So all’s well that ends well, right? Their first rehearsal together is going surprisingly pleasantly, much to the chagrin of the cast (“This is boring. I want my catfight already.”), but it isn’t exactly interesting. So Tom gets them to relive some of the more awkward parts of their early life together and the knives come out, forcing Ivy to leave the rehearsal hall. Nevertheless, the ploy works, and Ivy and Leigh manage to create a pretty heartwarming scene at the end as Marilyn visits her mother in the hospital. Ivy finds out from Sam (who’s still in the show?) that the decision to cast Leigh was Tom’s, and so she ends her friendship with him.

Julia, meanwhile, is attempting to reconstruct a friendship with Scott, so she runs to the fundraiser that night when invited by Eileen. Scott tells her she’s “trying too hard,” but it’s pretty obvious they’re already flirting up a storm. So much so that he asks Julia to come on as a dramaturg for Hit List to help find a way to make Ana’s Diva a second lead. Danger. Danger Will Robinson.

I have to admit, I like this idea of the creative worlds of Bombshell and Hit List coming together. It’s not so far-fetched as to be utterly unrealistic, and it adds a nice bit of potential drama to the show. Still. Not a lot happened this week, and I worry that the drug-dealing-past-of-Jimmy plotline is going to get too out of hand. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: getting two shows off the ground is drama enough for me. I don’t need this other stuff.

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