Tag Archives: Scott Wittman

A smashing idea for a series.

There is exciting news for lovers of musical theatre.

NBC TV in America have greenlit the pilot for “Smash” into a series. An hour long drama about the making of a Broadway musical.

Playwright-screenwriter Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, Our House, “NYPD Blue”) wrote the pilot, which launches the series about the bumpy development of a multimillion dollar Broadway musical. The brainchild of Steven Spielberg the series is to be shot in NYC as was the pilot. It will give many NYC theatre actors a lot of work and exposure.

In the pilot Christian Borle, a Tony Award nominee for Legally Blonde, played a composer, and Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) played the lyricist, in a story about  the making of a new Broadway musical about the life of screen icon Marilyn Monroe. Anjelica Huston played a producer in the pilot. Casting has not been announced but usually holdovers from the pilot are considered.

What a stellar team behind the series – Spielberg will executive produce along with Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank (of DreamWorks), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“Chicago,” “Hairspray,” Broadway’s Promises, Promises and How to Succeed…) and Theresa Rebeck, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Tony Award-winning songwriters Shaiman and Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can) will write the songs of the show within the series.

The series will trace the process of creating a new musical from concept to songwriting, the recruitment of investors, through to casting and the rehearsals. One season would focus on one musical. Subsequent seasons would address other musicals. The project is expected to be a drama with humor, with the season finishing up with the musical’s opening night.

I love the concept and can’t wait to see the series which is expected to premiere in the US – Sept/October 2011.

Christian Borle plays the gay composer of the musical featured in “Smash”

Debra Messing plays the lyricist

Academy award winner – Anjelica Huston plays the a Broadway producer.

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Music to my ears.

2 new interesting musical projects are on the cards, and you know Babs is happy about that.

Although one of them is not entirely enticing to me, the other I am elated about.

The first news is that Clint Eastwood is in talks to direct another remake of  “A Star Is Born”, yes another one *groan*

Don’t get me wrong, I love the storyline of ASIB I am just not sure it needs to be revisited. This time announced to take on the lead role is Beyonce Knowles. Although she was ok in the movie adaptation of  “Dreamgirls”, she was only just ok. I can sense a whiff of camp and perhaps baby-breath in the air, but then again Mr Eastwood can direct with great restraint. Her leading man will be an interesting choice, black or white? Puff Daddy or Robert Downey Jr are among the rumours. At least she will not have another diva alongside her to steal her thunder as the brilliant Jennifer Hudson did in “Dreamgirls”.

Beyonce as Esther?

And who can forget the other Babs? an Esther to forget – although it did give us Evergreen where love is compared to a chair!

 

Hot on the heels of the TV success of Glee comes an new TV musical project.

NBC have ordered a pilot for “Smash”, a one hour musical series about the mounting of a Broadway musical based on an idea by Steven Spielberg. The pilot follows a cross section of characters who come together to put on a Broadway musical. TV writer/playwright Theresa Rebeck wrote the script and is executive producing with Spielberg,. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman  of “Hairspray” fame will pen original songs for the show. Negotiations are underway  for Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening) to direct. Babs is absolutely thrilled and over excited about this one. Although the pilot for a HBO series “The Miraculous Year”, another Broadway based drama (reported in earlier posts) never eventuated 😦  I wonder if it will ever turn up as a tele-movie or a bootleg DVD? I hope so.

I do hope that the pilot for “Smash” is a smash and the uprising of the musical genre continues on its way. All Babs needs now is the proposed film version of Steven Sondheim’s “Follies” to eventuate, now that would be divine.

Steven Spielberg goes musical

Broadway couple and composers Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman

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