New York City

Curtain Closes on Smash

NBC’s musical theatre drama “Smash” has officially been cancelled for next season. The Huffington Post has an article with reactions from the cast on Twitter.

While I love the show, I end up watching it on their NBC website than during primetime, and low ratings were a primary reason for it’s cancellation. While I’m not caught up on season 2 yet, I’ve heard there were choices in the more recent episodes that many fans didn’t like. I thought the show held a lot of promise, and liked it better than Glee because it wasn’t quite as contrived or autotuned. So many members of the cast were Broadway veterans and are just incredible talented. I saw “9 to 5: The Musical” in 2009, and while I didn’t love the show, Megan Hilty was phenomenal. She has stage presence that literally lights up and controls a room and an incredible voice. I’ve loved her ever since.

I also like that it was a more accessible way for the general public to experience musical theatre. It’s cheaper and easier than going to see a show in New York or even locally, so I hoped people would jump and the chance. Maybe the next musical show will fair better.

Amanda LaBrot takes a picture with Megan Hilty outside of the "9 to 5: The Musical" stage door in September 2009.

Amanda LaBrot takes a picture with Megan Hilty outside of the “9 to 5: The Musical” stage door in September 2009.

2013 Tony Nominiations

Nominations for the 67 annual Tony Awards were announced Tuesday, April 30, 2013 with Kinky Boots the Musical leading the pack with 13 nominations. Close behind, with 12 nominations, was Matilda The Musical which opened on the West End in 2010 before moving to Broadway this season.

The most interesting thing, to me at least, about the nominees this year is the number of first time and unknown artists recognized. Obviously musicals nominated each year are new, but they’ll often have huge names in the cast or creative team. While some, like Kinky Boots, do involve Broadway veterans, Bring It On and A Christmas Story featured young actors and creative teams. Taylor Louderman, who starred as Campbell in Bring It On, was a senior at the University of Michigan while performing on Broadway. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, nominated for best original score for A Christmas Story, graduated from UMich in 2006. There must be something in the water…

I just enjoy seeing so many young performers and artists becoming successful in such a tough business. It can take years to even become a member of Actor’s Equity Association, the union that represents all Broadway performers and is required for all members of Broadway companies. In 2008, Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast of In the Heights took home the Tony for best musical. It was an unlikely show with lots of unknown talent. We saw it the following November, and I fell in love. And he’ll be back at the awards this year as the composer and lyricist of Bring It On. I love seeing artists progress, and being able to keep up with it on twitter. I think Broadway has really embraced and learned to use social media to their advantage, and I know I’m enjoying it.

Lin Manuel Miranda poses with his 2008 Best Musical Tony Award in the lobby of the Richard Rodgers Theatre with Amamnda LaBrot in November 2008.

Lin Manuel Miranda poses with his 2008 Best Musical Tony Award in the lobby of the Richard Rodgers Theatre with Amamnda LaBrot in November 2008.