Smash Recap - The Read-Through

Smash Recap - The Read-Through

So many musicals, so little time to actually find out what they’re about. “The Read-Though” rotated between three musicals last night, and yet all that got through was that the creative forces behind Smash really don’t like women, but they dislike writers even more.

The day of reckoning had arrived and Peter and Julia were ready to debut their finished script. Julia wasn’t an anxiety ridden mess, so immediately Tom was annoyed. Apparently one weekend with Peter and Julia had become confident in her abilities and her talent, something a lifetime of collaboration with Tom couldn’t do. Luckily, she ran into Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities playwright and supposed Tom ex!), who regaled her with the horrors of Peter the Dramaturg who likes to make women’s plays worse and then sweep in with his own brilliant script and steal the show. So, insecure, paranoid Julia was back, praise Jesus.

Because Tom enjoys his best friend more when she’s making him look sane by comparison, he did little to quell her irrational fears. It didn’t help that when they ran into Nikki Blonsky, who has apparently fallen on tough times since Hairspray and has taken a job as Jerry’s assistant, and she gushed to them about how much she loved the Bombshell script… just not the one Julia had spent all weekend writing. And, because Julia is a silly irrational woman, she immediately confronted Peter and informed him that in light of his supposed shenanigans, they would be cancelling the read-through. Strong, quick minded man that he is, Peter gave Julia a moving pep talk, urging her to trust herself (him) and her script (largely revised by him) that has changed the focus of the play from the woman who was objectified and used by men to the men who objectified and used her. That other playwright was just a silly woman drunk and he had no choice but to stab her in the back. His intense gaze and pouty lips do all the convincing for him and Julia allows the read-through to commence.

Good thing too, because it turns out to be an un-mitigated success, of genius level, “all award” winning proportion. How lucky they all are that this man has swooped in and saved Smash Bombshell from its own creator, Teresa Julia. A victory for writers everywhere…

Except Kyle, because he kind of sucks. Over in Hit List land (which sounds like a horrible place to be), Derek was hedging his bets with Bombshell (because why should he have any faith in Julia) by agreeing to direct the first act of Hit List in the upcoming Fringe Festival. Karen was mostly excited that it gave her an excuse to call Jimmy, who she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since that steamy alleyway kiss. Her roommate attempted some real talk and suggests the kiss may have just been a result of Jimmy being high on ecstasy, but Karen won’t hear it and instead sang a really creepy Death Cab for Cutie song while she smelled his shirts.

The actual purpose of Karen’s journey to Brooklyn is to stage a read-through of Hit List’s book so they can start hammering out the issues as soon as possible. It’s a good think someone finally got around to asking about the book too, because it turns out there’s a lot of issues. Mainly, it’s really bad. We wouldn’t know of course because we only hear one line of dialogue and it’s read by Karen, so it’s hard to know who to blame.

While Kyle has a crisis of conscience over being told by a room full of snotty chorus kids that he sucks at the one thing he’s passionate about, his super supportive friends waste no time reassuring him, but suggest that Hit List should transition to an opera (like Rent!) so no one needs to worry about the abysmal dialogue Kyle creates. Don’t worry Kyle, it’s still your musical even if you have no actual say in how it’s handled or portrayed because you came up with the basic plot. Somewhere Teresa Rebeck must feel very comforted.

Also, Ivy’s rehearsals for Liaisons were going horribly after Jack McFarland Terry Falls, comedic actor extraordinaire wasn’t told that Liaisons was a drama (though to be fair, once they make a teen interpretation of something starring Sarah Michelle Geller, pretty much any other interpretation is fair game).  But Ivy sets him straight by playing it straight and unwittingly convincing him to go off his medication. Poor Ivy, she’s landed a lead and still all she gets are drug storylines. Perhaps it’ll turn into such a train wreck that she’ll be forced to leave, to take over as Marilyn after Karen leaves for Hit List. But, probably not because Smash would never make their plotlines so transparent.

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