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Recapping Smash 2.03: Steam Heat

With Bombshell still in limbo, Eileen wants Tom and Julia to consider bringing on a dramaturg, which is the most horrifying thing either of them has ever heard. (Note: Dramaturgs working on a show are a pretty common occurrence.) Julia’s concern is that people hear about it and start gossiping about the show being in trouble. Or worse, the dramaturg sues for credit! (isn’t that what contracts are for?) Luckily, the dramaturg is played by Daniel Sunjata, so that should calm Julia down.

As Julia staggers under the weight of Eileen’s suggestion, Ivy is auditioning for casting director Bernie Telsey for a revival of a musical adaptation of Les Liasions Dangereuses (which originally starred Madeline Kahn as Cecile) and pushes for a chance at Cecile, despite them seeing Jen Damiano and Jessie Mueller. Across town, Veronica is singing “Home” from The Wiz for Derek (still fired), while Derek mocks the idea that The Wiz should be period and Dorothy should be innocent.

While Derek suggests he stage a scene with Veronica to prove to the producers that he can handle The Wiz, Karen is pitching Derek to Kyle and Jimmy. Jimmy is unconcerned about presenting to Derek (despite a lot of stuff being missing), which is probably because he’s a straight white man so he’ll obviously triumph here. The only thing that can defeat a straight white man is another straight white man, so obviously Derek stands them up.

In a meeting with The Dramaturg, he tells Julia that there’s no character development outside the songs, it plays like a shallow biopic, and her script is two-dimensional. Julia counters by pointing to the standing ovations in Boston. Then, Julia the Writer claims that it works better if you see it. That’s… not a great save, Julia.

At Eileen’s, Julia begins to throw a tantrum about having to work with someone who wants to rework her book and Eileen puts her foot down. If Julia doesn’t want to do the work, Eileen informs her, then she’ll find someone who will. So Julia confronts The Dramaturg in public… where was this drama when she was writing Bombshell? And then as The Dramaturg tells her she doesn’t know steamy sexual heat, he casually places his hand on her shoulder. Oh, Dramaturg. You fit right in with the men of Smash. (At least he does address the fact that Bombshell seemed to focus on Marilyn’s marriage to Joe DiMaggio.) At least he finally gets Julia down to work!

Tom is pulling double duty, writing Bombshell all night and working with Ivy on her upcoming audition during the day. He points out that innocent Cecile gradually morphs into a woman who knows how to manipulate men—just like Marilyn! And, he adds, Ivy. Weird comment from a friend, but OK. It works, because Ivy gets the part!

Julia’s having a worse day, because she walks in with a sexy JFK scene and song and thinks that will be enough for The Dramaturg to leave. Oh no, he says, she never would have written that without him pushing her. She’s stuck with him now! And that might be unfortunate, because his take on Marilyn is that she slept with powerful men to further her career, and maybe JFK and RFK helped hasten her death, but they also died, don’t forget. Well, they were assassinated, but OK?

That scene at least accomplishes one thing: It convinces Veronica Moore that she needs to be a sexy Broadway star and do a once-in-a-lifetime concert with Derek. Derek’s like, cool, but I have to head down to Greenpoint to hear a pitch for a new musical. And he likes it! Fade out on a girl…

Author: Webmaster