SMASH is renewed for a second season, Fact or Fiction? That’s a fact, Jack. Actors all over New York are thankful for another season of potential TV work and I’m delighted to host our favorite blogosphere TV gameshow. Based on the shaky ratings this season, we’d better play while we can because as we all know, SMASH is much more fun when you play Fact or Fiction. Did you miss last week? Go here to do your catch up reading. I’ve added a new mid-week spin off blog called SMASH Ask and Answer where I answer reader questions, so go read that and then write in. Everyone, get your buzzers out. This season we have big prizes behind door number one so I hope you spent your hiatus studying up on theater facts and fictions.
Please take a moment to read the game rules before activating your buzzers.
I am here to remind you that I am in total support of the fact that the show is, in fact, a TV show–a fictional drama–not a documentary. Right? Right. Good. Please initialize your understanding of this fact here: ______. We are not out to do anything except use the show as a launching point for fun conversation about the theater world. Based on the success of A Chorus Line and other backstage shows, we here at My Own Space assume there is a basic appreciation and curiosity of what happens behind the scenes on Broadway. Or else, one might rightly ask, what in the world are you doing reading this blog. Right? Right. If you can’t sing at least part of the song “Tomorrow”, you’re in the wrong place, tough guy, and maybe you should go here instead.
Truth be told, you don’t really even need to watch the show to play along, but you might be confused at points and you will not win the grand prize which is hidden behind door number five and is probably the flying script of The Singing Bird .
My name is Sharon Wheatley, I’ve done some Broadway shows, and I will be your host. Be sure to read the comments after the blog because that’s where I will be debated and corrected by all my insider-y Broadway friends and it is half the fun. Reminder that we keep things clean and informative here on My Own Space. If you want to trash talk there are exactly 5,872,017 Broadway message boards where you can do that.
Cell phones off. Game buzzers on.
Here we go. Lights up…cue theme music….
I will make a series of statements based on events in this weeks episode, and then give my opinion on whether the statements are “fact” or “fiction”. You play along. Get your buzzers ready.
Omg. I’m so excited. Did anyone else hear it? They actually mentioned agents this episode. I think they are reading this blog (okay, so we all know this episode was already in the can** but a girl can dream about the ginormous impact of this blog).
**”In the can” in this reference is not referring to heading to the bathroom, but instead means the episode was already shot and ready for air by the time last week’s blog was posted.
1) The episode was titled “The Song” because of that glorious song the show started with, “I Got Love”. Fact or Fiction?
Fiction and this was a stupid question on my part, but I really just wanted an excuse to talk about this song. I started to write about it and then decided to send you all to the master of song and singing, my friend Seth Rudetsky. Do you know Seth? You should. Homework. If you have Sirus/XM Satellite Radio, he is on the host of Seth’s Big Fat Broadway on the On Broadway channel. Check it out. For now, go here to learn more details about Melba Moore and her Tony award winning performance of “I’ve Got Love” in Seth’s famous and hilarious deconstruction video. Worth it. But then come right back here because we’ve got a lot more Fact and Fiction coming your way.
2) A “Momager” really exists. Fact or Fiction?
Fact, and I’ll tell you who had one, none other than MISS SAIGON’S Lea Salonga. What’s a Momager? It’s a manager who is a Mom and while I’ve never heard the phrase before I like it and I’m using it like it is a real thing. It’s like the time I heard “hungerstudy” used to describe an ambitious understudy. Genius. I immediately made it part of my vernacular.
In this episode of SMASH we meet JHud’s onscreen mother/manager, and may I just point out that it is the legendary Sheryl Lee Ralph who created the role of Deena in DREAMGIRLS. For those of you who need the dots connected, in the film, Deena is played by Beyonce and JHud plays Effie. So nice to have to dream girls onstage together. Fun, SMASH!
Back to the Momager idea, I can report that there was a lot of accuracy in this depiction and seemed to be ripped right from the Salonga play books. I knew Lea’s mom was her manager (she was famous for sheltering Lea) and I had some judgements about that, but I’m happy to report that when I did LES MISERABLES with Lea (and her Mom by proxy) they were both wonderfully nice. Don’t get me wrong, Lea’s Mom had her on close to lock down because she wanted to protect her pristine image, but they were both very friendly. Lea is now married and has a baby so I’m guessing things have loosened up between her and her Mom.
3) Bravo films musical theater star’s concerts. Fact or Fiction?
Totally fiction, but NBC owns BRAVO so it is a chance to toss in a plug for their sister station. The closest they’d ever get is The Real Housewives Of Broadway.
While we’re talking about this, who WOULD air a concert like this? PBS, baby. After you finish DOWNTON ABBEY, check out the LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER series. Last week they had a Kander and Ebb review with Chita and Joel Grey and next up is an evening with Kristin Chenoweth.
4) A couple of guys can write a song, it gets put into a concert and the result is the beginning of a career writing for the musical theater. Fact or fiction?
To answer this question I turn to the other side of the couch and hand the computer to the quietly handsome music director and college professor, my husband, Rob Meffe. Tell us Rob, is it fact or fiction? Take it away.