Series 1 - 1. Pilot

Radio Times
Review by:
Patrick Mulkern

Trumpeted as a Glee for grown-ups, Smash is certainly a hot ticket for fans of musical theatre as it charts the lives of some talented individuals putting on a brand-new Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe. And it comes with impeccable credentials: Steven Spielberg as exec prod, show tunes by Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and this pilot is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for the Broadway hit Spring Awakening.

The cast is terrific, too: Will & Grace’s Debra Messing, hewn-from-granite Anjelica Huston and Jack Davenport adding another smug git to his repertoire. Katharine McPhee (American Idol 2006 runner-up) is to die for as the only auditionee to turn up not looking like Marilyn. Tonight’s showstopper is a clever pastiche of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Keep this quality up and Smash is a hit.

About this programme

1/15. Pilot episode of the drama following the backstage clashes and personal battles of actors, writers and producers trying to make a hit Broadway musical. Writing partners Julia Houston and Tom Levitt set to work on a play based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, and their script soon attracts the attention of renowned producer Eileen Rand. Veteran supporting player Ivy Lynn and beautiful newcomer Karen Cartwright each stake a claim for the lead role - but the project faces an uncertain future as Eileen deals with a potentially brutal divorce, while Tom is furious at the prospect of working with notoriously abrasive director Derek Wills. Starring Debra Messing, Anjelica Houston, Christian Borle, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty.

Cast and crew


Julia Houston
Debra Messing
Derek Wills
Jack Davenport
Karen Cartwright
Katharine McPhee
Tom Levitt
Christian Borle
Ivy Lynn
Megan Hilty
Dev Sundaram
Raza Jaffrey
Ellis Boyd
Jaime Cepero
Eileen Rand
Anjelica Huston
Frank Houston
Brian d'Arcy James
Mrs Cartwright
Becky Ann Baker
Roger Cartwright
Dylan Baker
Jerry Rand
Michael Cristofer
Leo Houston
Emory Cohen
Jerry's attorney
Robert LuPone


Michael Mayer
Theresa Rebeck