Smash is finally heading to Broadway.
In an announcement long awaited by fans of the 2012 NBC series, a stage musical adaptation is planned tol arrive on Broadway during the 2024-25 season, with a lead producing team of Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Steven Spielberg. A top flight creative team is attached, including director Susan Stroman, composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, book writers Rick Elice and Bob Martin, and the TV series’ choreographer Joshua Bergasse.
Spielberg, whose original idea led to the NBC series, said in a statement, “Smash is near and dear to my heart, and it was always my hope that a musical inspired by the show would eventually come to the stage. We now have an incredible creative team, and I’m looking forward to completing the Smash journey which began with my producing partners over ten years ago.”
In addition to new music, the stage version will include many of the Shaiman-Wittman songs from the TV series, including the Emmy-nominated “Let Me Be Your Star.”
Despite the inclusion of songs from the series – and while the musical will follow the program’s plot of mounting the (fictional) Bombshell bio-musical about Marilyn Monroe) – the stage version will also “depart liberally from the series,” according to today’s announcement.
Smash debuted on NBC in February 2012 and built a following that has continued to grow since its cancelation by NBC after just two seasons. In June 2015, a charity benefit concert of songs from the show’s Bombshell sold out Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre just 15 minutes after sales began. The concert was film and eventually streamed during the early days of the Covid pandemic as a benefit for what was then called The Actor’s Fund (now the Entertainment Community Fund).
“Ever since the show ended in 2012,” Meron said, “not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask us when will they see Smash as a musical. We think we’ve come up with something the die-hard series fans will love but that will also be exciting for people who never saw an episode of the show. And above all else it will be a valentine to the Broadway musical and the exhilarating rollercoaster ride of bringing one to life.”
Said Greenblatt, “Speaking for myself and Neil Meron, we’re elated that Steven wanted to join us as we bring Smash to the stage, as we’ve always felt that Shaiman and Wittman’s incredible score belonged on Broadway. And collaborating with the incomparable Susan Stroman, one of the best directors of musicals, plus first-class bookwriters, Rick Elice and Bob Martin, and our original choreographer, Josh Bergasse, is pure joy.”
Smash will reunite producer Meron with composers Shaiman and Wittman, who first collaborated on the movie version of the musical Hairspray and then on the NBC live adaptation. Meron is one of the lead producers (with Greenblatt as Co-Producer) of Broadway’s critically lauded musical Some Like It Hot, currently at the Shubert Theatre.
The songwriters also scored the 2009 Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can, based on Spielberg’s 2002 film.
Book writer Elice is co-writer of the hit jukebox musical Jersey Boys, as well as stage productions of The Addams Family, The Cher Show, and Peter and the Starcatcher. Martin began his Broadway career both starring in and writing the Tony-winning book for The Drowsy Chaperone. He co-wrote the book to the musical The Prom and co-created the television series Slings and Arrows.
Martin and Elice are also currently adapting The Princess Bride for the stage, and Martin is writing the book for the Betty Boop musical Boop. Elice is writing the new musical adaptation of Water For Elephants.
Stroman’s extensive Broadway credits include her Tony-winning work on Mel Brooks’ The Producers, Crazy For You, Show Boat and Contact. She’ll next be represented on Broadway this spring with New York, New York, featuring a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
After his choreography on Smash, Bergasse was Tony-nominated for the revival of On The Town, and he collaborated with Shaiman and Wittman their musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He choreographed the revival of Lerner & Lowe’s Gigi starring Vanessa Hudgins.
Smash was created for television by playwright Theresa Rebeck, with executive producers including Spielberg, Meron and Craig Zadan, Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, David Marshall Grant, and Joshua Safran. It was produced by Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television and Storyline Productions.
101 Productions, Ltd. will serve as General Management of the Broadway production.