As the curtain closes on Smash, executive producer and Bombshell songwriter Marc Shaiman gave a look behind-the-scenes at the musical drama. His farewell to the show, titled “Goodbye Norma Jean”, gives insight into the songs featured throughout the show’s two seasons as well as the actual Marilyn Monroe moments that inspired them.
In his send-off, Shaiman also hits on what he thinks worked—and didn’t work—with the recently cancelled series. “A lot of smart, talented (and in some cases, smart and talented!) people were brought together to create a television show,” Shaiman wrote. “There was not a single soul working on the show who didn’t want it to be great. Everyone just had a different idea of what that was.”
Shaiman went on to say that he, with his writing partner Scott Wittman, felt frustrated that they couldn’t share the stories that inspired their writing over the past two years. “It would have enriched the storylines of Tom & Julia and made many of our choices clearer and maybe made our songs more meaningful,” he said.
Among the songs examined are the first season favorites “Let Me Be Your Star” and “History is Made at Night,” as well as cover songs like “That’s Life” and “Another Op’nin, Another Show.” Shaiman also looks at songs that were lost on the cutting room floor, like Veronica Moore’s original opening number “Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer” and Eileen’s contemplative and melancholy solo “Adieu Mon Coeur.”
Throughout the article, Shaiman raves about the actors and Broadway vets he worked with including Megan Hilty and Christian Borle. “Hopefully,” Shaiman wrote, “Scott & I will forget the pain and will only remember hearing and seeing our songs being brought to life by some of the greatest actors and actresses we could ever hope to work with.”
The full article can be found here.
Knowing that so much love and hard work went into crafting the show’s music each week can at least provide closure to some viewers when the series concludes with a two-hour season finale airing tonight, May 26, on NBC.
What do you think of Shaiman’s send-off for Smash? Did his descriptions of the songs provide a more in-depth look at the songs from the series? Let me know in comments!