Topics:  smash, steven spielberg, tv series, tv show

Spielberg musical drama series a smash hit

Katharine McPhee, left, and Megan Hilty in a scene from the TV series Smash.
Katharine McPhee, left, and Megan Hilty in a scene from the TV series Smash. Contributed - Channel 7

AN A-LIST cast adds serious star power to Steve Spielberg's Emmy Award-winning musical drama series Smash.

The Jurassic Park director's novel show explores the backstage dramas of Broadway through the trials and tribulations of a group of actors and creatives involved with a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

The first series of Smash follows the creative process from inspiration to song and scriptwriting, casting, rehearsals and, finally, the all-important preview shows.

Anjelica Huston stars as the show's producer, who teams up with songwriter and composer team Julia and Tom, played by Debra Messing and Christian Borle.

Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty play the two women, one a novice and the other an experienced Broadway performer, vying for the lead role of Marilyn.

Tony and Grammy award-winning songwriting duo Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman are behind the show's stellar music, 17 songs in total, and the original idea to base the fictional Broadway musical on the iconic blonde bombshell.

"Most people are familiar with Marilyn," Wittman said.

"She is one of the most iconic figures. There are more than a hundred books about her life."

Shaiman added: "Which is probably the most-written about any one woman in modern history."

Even though Smash is much more adult in its subject matter, Wittman believes shows like Glee helped bring song and dance back into modern TV shows.

"Without Glee, Smash wouldn't have been possible," he said.

"It paved the way for audiences to accept and be comfortable with people singing in a show on TV."

A second series of Smash is currently in production and will debut in the US in February next year.

Smash series 1 was released on DVD on November 28.


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