Smash – The Workshop

by Alan Rapp on March 21, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Smash – The Workshop
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A week has past and yet the cast of “Marilyn” will still need another half an episode in preparation for their all important workshop where they will present a rough version of the show to potential investors. Bernadette Peters makes a guest-appearance as Ivy’s (Megan Hilty) famous Broadway mother, and Karen (Katharine McPhee) is forced to choose between attending the workshop or meeting with an influential music producer.

Julia (Debra Messing) and Michael’s (Will Chase) affair is complicated by the unexpected arrival of his wife and son at rehearsals and Leo (Emory Cohen) revealing to Julia he knows about her affair. The situation becomes even more tangled now that Eileen (Anjelica Huston) knows about the relationship and Tom (Christian Borle)  has suggested firing Michael might be best for the show.

Throw in boiler problems, another dust-up between Ivy and Derek (Jack Davenport), and a mixed reaction from the potential investors and all hands are on deck to discuss whether or not serious changes need to made – including the replacement of one or both leads.

The second-half of the episode, the workshop and its fallout, works better than the first. In fact, it’s probably the best 25 minutes the show has put together. On the other hand we never buy into Karen actually abandoning the project to further her own career, I’m so tired of Julia and Michael’s back and forth his removal might be a blessing, and although Bernadette Peters works well in her role of the stage mother incapable of a kind word the entire subplot feels rushed (including the resolution which would have been better served in a future episode).

Songs include Karen’s performance of Colbie Caillat‘s “Brighter Than the Sun,” Bernadette Peters sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy, the original song “On Lexington & 52nd Street,” and we’re given a montage of the Marilyn’s numbers we’ve already seen performed again as part of the workshop.

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