Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the songwriting duo of Bombshell, the musical-within-the-TV show Smash, said they could never imagine an actual stage version of the show being possible.
"It would be a lot of hard singing," Wittman told Out when the album featuring Bombshell's songs was released in 2013, with Shaiman adding: "We were striving to write a big show stopper for whichever girl was singing that week—Megan [Hilty] or Kat [McPhee]—so we explained in the CD notes that if someone were trying to sing it all in one night, one poor girl, she'd be like Marilyn, she'd die at the end."
Now it seems we'll get a chance to see who might actually expire singing the role since it was announced that NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures are planning on creating a full Bombshell stage show.
After a June 8 benefit concert, the New Yorker proclaimed Bombshell "the best Broadway musical that doesn't exist," and the New York Post stated: "Technically there was never a Marilyn Monroe musical, but after a production like this, maybe there should be," which must have gotten Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, thinking he had a hot commodity on his hands.
"There is a still a lot of love for Smash and a rabid fan base out there, and we're thrilled to be able to keep the dream alive as we work towards bringing Bombshell to theater audiences," Greenblatt said."Smash was ambitious because every episode was a complicated musical for television and we also built the foundation of the musical-within-the-musical about Marilyn's endlessly fascinating and tumultuous life. Over the course of two seasons, an entire Bombshell score was written to service Smash storylines, and now that show will have a chance to stand on its own."
It seems Shaiman and Wittman, also executive producers of the series, will continue working on Bombshell, with Shaiman serving as composer and co-lyricist and Wittman as co-lyricist. Their Broadway successes include Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can (based on the film directed by Spielberg), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is currently running in London's West End and will arrive on Broadway in the future.
"We are so thrilled that Smash isn't over and that 'Bombshell' gets to live on," said Craig Zadan, who will serve as the lead producer, along with partner Neil Meron, of Bombshell. "The Emmy-nominated songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, including the iconic 'Let Me Be Your Star,' are every bit the caliber of their Tony- and Grammy-winning Broadway work. The Actors Fund benefit reinforced how alive this material is on stage and how much the audience wants to see the Marilyn Monroe musical in its entirety."
Since Meron and Zadan have also been responsible for NBC's recent live musical TV spectacles of Peter Pan and The Sound of Music (and the upcoming The Wiz), we wonder if there might be a future TV component as well (maybe even a reality casting challenge?). We just hope Megan Hilty and Kat McPhee are somehow in the running. It's only fair, right?