"Smash" The Cost of Art (TV Episode 2012) Poster

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Pretty good episode
ciocio-21 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Just to correct another review of this episode, the art work that Anjelica Huston's Eileen is trying to leverage for money to put into the workshop is actually a sketch by Dégas, not Renoir. She has trouble with that because, although her estranged husband Jerry gave it to her, his name is on the paperwork as owner.

The episode is generally pretty fun (yes, lots of moments that are not exactly 'realistic' or 'authentic,' but to me it's worth putting up with a little of that, if they make it all fun and engaging enough). I especially enjoyed seeing Broadway diva Ann Harada, though in a role that I sincerely hope will have more scope; she plays what appears to be some kind of stage manager, announcing when it's time for rehearsal to break for lunch. That's part of the weirdness of this show, for folks who are real theater and Broadway fans: seeing people who are, to us, great stars, playing sometimes tiny roles that don't let anyone see the marvels of which they're capable (for instance, the thought of having Brian D'Arcy James around and not singing is just bizarre--hopefully that will eventually be rectified). This is not a new phenomenon, given all the television work that New York actors get (especially, historically, soaps, but also shows like the LAW & ORDERs and others), but seems even stranger, since the setting for this show's story is the actual professional world in which they loom so large. I remember seeing Ron Bohmer, an absolutely phenomenal singer and actor, in a fleeting role on a L&O a few years ago--it's just weird, knowing the ratio of talent and ability to the little bit they're doing. Then again, that's how I used to feel, seeing Matthew Morrison in little roles in MUSIC & LYRICS and DAN IN REAL LIFE, and now he belongs to everyone.

Anyway, how likely would it be, in real life, that a youngish, paid-her-dues, experienced, theater performer getting her first shot at a role (beyond ensemble) in a Broadway show--and the lead and title character at that--would behave in such a selfish, unprofessional way as Ivy is doing in these rehearsals? I think very unlikely, at least in as blatant, open a fashion as is being portrayed here. But, for the story, I'll go along. For me, the unrealistic point that bothered most was when Karen's colleagues from the ensemble ask her where/from whom she's taking dance classes, and she appears to be clueless, as if the idea of dance training is completely foreign to her. Her character is supposed to be a trained, professional singer/dancer/actress, and has declared herself so, so why have this silly moment? The writers should have just had her name a studio or teacher, which her colleagues could have then shot down, telling her she must come study where they do. It would accomplish the point, without undermining what we're supposed to believer her character is. Also, in the scene where Eileen arranges for Nick Jonas' Lyle to see and hear a number from MARILYN, his joining in, with correct lyrics, along with some of the others who join in, is somewhat fantastical. But, again, I'll suspend the disbelief because they made it work well enough, and entertained me enough, that I'm willing. Onward and upward, hopefully.
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1.4 is **** All the Way
edwagreen28 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Terrific episode where producer Anjelica Huston tries to sell a Renoir, owned by her soon-to-be divorced husband, so that she can put money into the show.

Karen discovers that Ivy and the director have been sleeping together. Ivy sees Karen as a threat and is successful in moving her out of various routines.

Towards the end of the show, an excellent song and dance routine is done by Ivy. She has certainly perfected a great intonation of the late Marilyn Monroe.

Karen may come from Iowa, but it certainly appears that she will not be shut out. She begins to form a bond with the rest of the ensemble cast.

Very well-done, entertaining episode.
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