Tuesday, April 30, 2013

And The Tony Nominees Are...

For the weeks leading up to the Tony nominations, it's all us theater fans can talk about it, and now it's finally here. For the next month, we'll be talking about who will win. Then we will discuss who should have won until it's time to start all over with the new season. There are a lot of politics involved in award shows and it's also very subjective, so why do we care so much? I can only speak for myself, but when I love a show, I want it to do well and to be recognized. And this year, there were very few shows on Broadway that I truly loved (Pippin, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Golden Boy). The rest were off-Broadway (The Whale, The Flick, Bad Jews). Here is the complete list of nominees followed by my thoughts about what the nominators got right, who was snubbed, and early predictions in each category.

Best Play
The Assembled Parties
Author:  Richard Greenberg
Producers:  Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove
Lucky Guy
Author:  Nora Ephron
Producers:  Colin Callender, Roy Furman, Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger & William Berlind, Stacey Mindich, Robert Cole & Frederick Zollo, David Mirvish, Daryl Roth, James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer, Scott & Brian Zeilinger, Sonia Friedman Productions, The Shubert Organization
The Testament of Mary
Author:  Colm Toíbín
Producers:  Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Jon B. Platt, Roger Berlind, Broadway Across America, Scott M. Delman, Jean Doumanian, Roy Furman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sonia Friedman Productions/Tulchin Bartner Productions, The Araca Group, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth, Eli Bush
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Author:  Christopher Durang
Producers:  Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschhorn, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Martin Platt & David Elliott, Pat Flicker Addiss, Catherine Adler, John O’Boyle, Joshua Goodman, Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler, Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Radio Mouse Entertainment, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian, Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade, Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons, S.D. Wagner, John Johnson, MacCarter Theatre Center, Lincoln Center Theater

This was a very weak year for new plays. I guess after the past few years, we were due for one. The only new play on Broadway that I think is really deserving this year is Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. What I love about it is that it's so high brow and low brow at the same time, kind of like my taste in everything. The writing is clever, but not so much that you don't care about the characters (at least for me, I know not everyone agrees). The Assembled Parties was very good and quite moving in parts, but I thought it needed a rewrite or two. It did get a lot of love from the critics more recently than VSMS, so it might be a dark horse, but I still expect VSMS to win, not just because of the quality, but because of the regional life potential, which Tony voters like. I'm ok with Lucky Guy being nominated as a tribute to Nora Ephron, as long as it doesn't win because it's just not a very good play. Surprised to see The Testament of Mary here because I heard the play itself was not good, just Fiona Shaw's performance, but I haven't seen it myself yet so I can't comment on whether or not it deserves to be on this list. Really surprised that Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance did not take the fourth slot. 

Best Musical
Bring It On: The Musical
Producers:  Universal Pictures Stage Productions/Glenn Ross, Beacon Communications/Armyan Bernstein & Charlie Lyons, Kristin Caskey & Mike Isaacson
 A Christmas Story, The Musical
Producers:  Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Jr., Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas, Bradford W. Smith
 Kinky Boots
Producers:  Daryl Roth, Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergère, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy & Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Ron Fierstein & Dorsey Regal, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom & Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp, Jujamcyn Theaters
 Matilda The Musical
Producers:  The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Dodgers

Motown, which I haven't seen and can't comment on, was snubbed in favor of two closed shows. I loved A Christmas Story and am happy to see it on this list. Bring It On was a lot of fun, so I'm not mad that it snuck in there. The Tonys do seem to have a lot of love for Kinky Boots, but I still don't think it's possible for Matilda to lose. I saw Matilda in London last year and thought it was overrated, but it was hyped up so much that it couldn't possibly live up to that. But it is a very good musical and there is a lot I love about it, so I do think it deserves to win this year. Kinky Boots won me over by the end, but again, it's not really a great musical. I'm just a sucker for the be yourself message.

Best Revival of a Play
Golden Boy
Producers:  Lincoln Center Theater, André Bishop, Bernard Gersten
Producers:  Frederick Zollo, Robert Cole, The Shubert Organization, Orin Wolf, Lucky VIII, Scott M. Delman, James P. MacGilvray, StylesFour Productions
The Trip to Bountiful
Producers:  Nelle Nugent, Kevin Liles, Paula Marie Black, David R. Weinreb, Stephen C. Byrd, Alia M. Jones, Kenneth Teaton, Carole L. Haber/Philip Geier, Wendy Federman/Carl Moellenberg/Ricardo Hornos, Fifty Church Street Productions/Hallie Foote/Tyson and Kimberly Chandler, Joseph Sirola, Howard and Janet Kagan/Charles Salameno, Sharon A. Carr/Patricia R. Klausner, Raymond Gaspard/Andréa M. Price, Willette Murphy Klausner/Reginald M. Browne
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Producers:  Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Susan Quint Gallin, Mary Lu Roffe, Kit Seidel, Amy Danis & Mark Johannes, Patty Baker, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Richard Gross, Jam Theatricals, Cheryl Lachowicz, Michael Palitz, Dramatic Forces/Angelina Fiordellisi, Luigi & Rose Caiola, Ken Greiner, Kathleen K. Johnson, Kirmser Ponturo Fund, Will Trice, GFour Productions, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Again, there weren't a lot of shows this year I really loved, but Golden Boy was one of them. A gorgeous production. I hope it wins, but it's been closed for a long time. The only show on this list I haven't seen yet is The Trip to Bountiful, but it got good reviews recently and I feel like Tony voters have short memories. I didn't love Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf as much as everyone else. I did like Orphans more than I thought I would, but still don't think it's strong enough to deserve to win.

Best Revival of a Musical
Producers:  Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, James M. Nederlander, Jane Bergère/Daryl Roth, Eva Price/Christina Papagjika
 The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Producers:  Roundabout Theatre Company, Todd Haimes, Harold Wolpert, Julia C. Levy
Producers:  Barry and Fran Weissler, Howard and Janet Kagan, Lisa Matlin, Kyodo Tokyo, A&A Gordon/Brunish Trinchero, Tom Smedes/Peter Stern, Broadway Across America, Independent Presenters Network, Norton Herrick, Allen Spivak, Rebecca Gold, Joshua Goodman, Stephen E. McManus, David Robbins/Bryan S. Weingarten, Philip Hagemann/Murray Rosenthal, Jim Kierstead/Carlos Arana/Myla Lerner, Hugh Hayes/Jamie Cesa/Jonathan Reinis, Sharon A. Carr/Patricia R. Klausner, Ben Feldman, Square 1 Theatrics, Wendy Federman/Carl Moellenberg, Bruce Robert Harris/Jack W. Batman, Infinity Theatre Company/Michael Rubenstein, Michael A. Alden/Dale Badway/Ken Mahoney, American Repertory Theater
 Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Producers:  Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Kocis, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Luigi Caiola & Rose Caiola, Roy Furman, Walt Grossman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, Glass Slipper Productions LLC/Eric Schmidt, Ted Liebowitz/James Spry, Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group

The nominations in this category were a no brainer. The only other eligible show was Jekyll & Hyde. I still haven't seen Cinderella (ridiculous, I know), but I'm planning to change that this week. I really liked all three of the others, and as much as I have a place in my heart for Edwin Drood, I loved Pippin the most and I expect it to win.

Best Book of a Musical
 A Christmas Story, The Musical
Joseph Robinette
 Kinky Boots
Harvey Fierstein
 Matilda The Musical
Dennis Kelly
 Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Douglas Carter Beane

Many people say Matilda has a weak score, but I think its biggest problem is the book, which had an odd focus (why not focus on her powers?), but I am guessing it will sweep most of the creative awards. Again, haven't seen Cinderella yet, but very curious about Beane's modern take. Wasn't a huge fan of the book for Kinky Boots, but I seem to recall liking the one for A Christmas Story, but again, it's mostly the music that I remember.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Hands on a Hardbody
Music: Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green
Lyrics: Amanda Green
Kinky Boots
Music & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper
Matilda The Musical
Music & Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Yeah Pasek and Paul! Loved their score for A Christmas Story and this is a good a time as any to plug my interview with them about it for TDF Stages. I didn't love the score for Hands on Hardbody and the lyrics were terrible. I would have rather the show was nominated than the score. I know I said I was disappointed when I saw Matilda, but I do love a lot of the score (especially "When I Grow Up") and listen to it all the time, so this is the category I really want it to win. I saw Kinky Boots on Friday and don't remember any of the songs except for one, but maybe it's also the type of score that needs to grow on you.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tom Sturridge, Orphans

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was Letts's show and I'm happy to see the nominators remembered him. I'm really happy with this list, except I wouldn't have nominated Tom Hanks. I would have probably nominated Michael Shannon, who was really good in Grace (along with everyone else in the cast) even though the show was meh. I haven't seen Macbeth yet, but I was expecting Alan Cumming to be nominated. I mean, he plays every part. I would probably give David Hyde Pierce the award, but I would by happy with any of these guys except Hanks (not that he was bad, but not award worthy). Nathan Lane was the best I've ever seen him in The Nance so I won't be mad if he wins.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Amy Morton, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Holland Taylor, Ann
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

KRISTINE NIELSEN!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so worried when they bumped her up to leading role (even though she does have the biggest female part in the show) that Bette Midler (who I adore) or someone would take her spot. She gave one of my favorite performances on Broadway this year and the best on-the-phone acting I've ever seen in a play. I haven't seen Holland Taylor or Cicely Tyson yet. Didn't love Morton (as I said, it was all about Letts for me). Laurie Metcalf was incredible in The Other Place, but I really want Nielsen to win. I have to say, I feel really bad for Sigourney Weaver. I thought she was really good in VSMS and it must be hard to watch four of your co-stars get nominated, but I hope she's happy for them. If wonder if Nielsen was kept as featured, if Weaver would have been nominated. This was probably the most competitive category this year and Bette Midler and Fiona Shaw are the most surprising omissions.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Bertie Carvel, Matilda The Musical
Santino Fontana, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Rob McClure, Chaplin
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Stark Sands, Kinky Boots

Santino Fontana gave my favorite performance of last season in Sons of the Prophet. I can't wait to see him in Cinderella. I saw Carvel in London and he was good, but for me, the standout was Josie Walker as Mrs. Wormwood (she didn't transfer). Carvel should not be considered a lead since his role is so small, but he's going to win. I'm glad Rob McClure was remembered. I'm also really happy to see Stark Sands on this list. Billy Porter was fun to watch, but I didn't feel emotionally connected to his character. I was sitting in the front row, so I could see every tear in Sands's eyes (the boy can tear up at the drop of a hat), so for me, his performance was more memorable. It's a shame that Anthony Warlow wasn't nominated. Best Daddy Warbucks ever.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello, Scandalous
Valisia LeKae, Motown The Musical
Patina Miller, Pippin
Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Patina Miller will and should win. Surprised to see Carolee Carmello on this list. Love her, but Scandalous didn't do anyone any favors. I loved all the performances in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and there should be an ensemble acting category for situations like this so they could have all been recognized, but at least a few of them were. Haven't seen the other two yet. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Danny Burstein, Golden Boy
Richard Kind, The Big Knife
Billy Magnussen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy
Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy

Can we talk about Billy Magnussen for a second? When I interview people, I tend to appreciate their work even more, and when I spoke to him about creating Spike, he told me that he was given a lot of freedom and talked about how meticulous he was with his choices. And all those choices were perfect for the character and hilarious. I think when comedy is done well it looks easy and people forget how hard it is to make people laugh. I was worried when he hadn't been getting nominations for some of the other awards that people remember him as the hot guy who takes off his clothes a lot and don't realize what a great comedic performance he's giving. So all that is to say, I hope he wins. But I'm torn because one of my other favorite performances of the season was Tony Shalhoub in Golden Boy. I think I tweeted right after seeing the show that he better be remembered come Tony nominations. Burstein is great in everything. I don't get all the love for Richard Kind in The Big Knife. I usually like him as an actor, but nobody in that show seemed to be on the same page. Courtney B. Vance was the best part of Lucky Guy.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Carrie Coon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Shalita Grant, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Judith Ivey, The Heiress
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties
Condola Rashad, The Trip to Bountiful

Shalita Grant! Again, I think Kristine Nielsen being bumped up made this possible, but she was great, as was everyone in the cast. Again, where's the ensemble Tony category? Carrie Coon was the second best part of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. I wouldn't be surprised if Judith Light wins for the second year in a row. I was hoping Yvonne Strahovski would get nominated for Golden Boy, but maybe she'll come back to Broadway and get a nomination next time. I also loved Mare Winningham in Picnic.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Charl Brown, Motown The Musical
Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody
Will Chase, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Gabriel Ebert, Matilda The Musical
Terrence Mann, Pippin

I love me some Terrence Mann. I'm also happy that Will Chase was remembered, because he was a perfect villain in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and it was the best I've ever seen him. It's nice to see Keith Carradine get a nomination. Gabriel Ebert is the main reason I want to see Matilda in New York.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots
Victoria Clark, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Andrea Martin, Pippin
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
Lauren Ward, Matilda The Musical

I've never understood the appeal of Annaleigh Ashford. She always does the same over-the-top schtick and I don't find it funny. It's just a matter of personal taste. I would have nominated Rachel Bay Jones from Pippin in her place. She was the heart of that show. But Andrea Martin was also a highlight and she will definitely win and deservedly so. Keala Settle gave a memorable breakthrough performance in Hands on a Hardbody and I hope to see more from her. I saw Lauren Ward in London and I liked her a lot.

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, The Nance
Santo Loquasto, The Assembled Parties
David Rockwell, Lucky Guy
Michael Yeargan, Golden Boy

For me, it's between the rotating sets of The Nance or The Assembled Parties.

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical
Anna Louizos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Scott Pask, Pippin
David Rockwell, Kinky Boots

This should and will go to Matilda. The set is awesome.

Best Costume Design of a Play
Soutra Gilmour, Cyrano de Bergerac
Ann Roth, The Nance
Albert Wolsky, The Heiress
Catherine Zuber, Golden Boy

I see all the period pieces are unsurprisingly in the costume category. I'd give it to Golden Boy.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Kinky Boots
Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin
William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

I've heard great things about the Cinderella costumes, but Kinky Boots should get it just for the boots. Or Pippin because those costumes make everyone in the cast look sexy.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Lucky Guy
Donald Holder, Golden Boy
Jennifer Tipton, The Testament of Mary
Japhy Weideman, The Nance

I don't know much about lighting, but the lighting in Golden Boy was beautiful.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kenneth Posner, Kinky Boots
Kenneth Posner, Pippin
Kenneth Posner, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda The Musical

I would go out on a limb here and say Kenneth Posner will win, but he's up against Matilda, so...

Best Sound Design of a Play
John Gromada, The Trip to Bountiful
Mel Mercier, The Testament of Mary
Leon Rothenberg, The Nance
Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg, Golden Boy

This is the part where I'm trying to speed this up because I have to go back to work and what do I know about sound design?

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Jonathan Deans & Garth Helm, Pippin
Peter Hylenski, Motown The Musical
John Shivers, Kinky Boots
Nevin Steinberg, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

See above.

Best Direction of a Play
Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nicholas Martin, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Bartlett Sher, Golden Boy
George C. Wolfe, Lucky Guy

Torn between Bartlett Sher and Nicholas Martin, but I'd have to give it to Martin for directing the controlled chaos of VSMS

Best Direction of a Musical
Scott Ellis, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots
Diane Paulus, Pippin
Matthew Warchus, Matilda The Musical

It's between Matthew Warchus and Diane Paulus and I think Paulus might actually win, but everyone loves Warchus (including me), so I don't know. I'd give it to Paulus.

Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical
Peter Darling, Matilda The Musical
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots
Chet Walker, Pippin

The cheerleading routines were so fun to watch in Bring It On and were the show's strength. I really enjoyed Peter Darling's choreography. And Chet Walker's. Are the acrobatic tricks considered part of the Pippin's choreography?

Best Orchestrations
Chris Nightingale, Matilda The Musical
Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots
Ethan Popp & Bryan Crook, Motown The Musical
Danny Troob, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

I've only seen two of these, but yeah Stephen Oremus!

Anyway, what did you all think of the nominations? Who did you think was snubbed? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The SMASH Reality Index: Season 2 Episode 13

Back by popular demand, Dave (@NineDaves) and I have teamed up to bring you our take on what’s keepin’ it real and what’s faking it each week on SMASH. Follow the 'caps here or on Dave's site.

After three good episodes in a row, the momentum was bound to wear off eventually. And it did this week with a mediocre episode, “The Producers.” We’re totally onboard with the fact that this show is still dealing with realistic issues like how to sell tickets to Bombshell and keep it open until the Tonys. And how to get producers to invest in Hit List. But this episode focused a lot on Jimmy. And as much as we love Jeremy Jordan, we’re pretty much over Jimmy as a character. Plus, we found out this week that Linda the stage manager will be gone for the rest of the season! It’s like SMASH hates us!

Check out how it all played out:

Totally True
• Agnes is on set for The Today Show filming, making sure everyone in the cast smiles. Plus 10.
• We can’t remember the last time The Tonight Show had on a Broadway performer promoting his/her new musical. But if Ivy Lynn is getting national press like this, we’ll take it.
• Can we just get another Bombshell cast recording with Megan Hilty singing all the songs Katharine McPhee sang? ‘Cause we need this recording of “20th Century Fox Mambo,” stat!
• Hit List is having it’s own PR plotline, taking seemingly bad press photographs in super cheesy setups. Plus 10 because we’ve seen the marketing for Hit List so far and these look like they’ll fit in perfectly.
• “Loosen Up. You don’t really want to kill her,” the photographer says to Ana, as she holds a gun to Karen’s head. Plus 10 because yes she does and yes we all do.
• Ana is still dating Adam because “he’s funny.” The things us gurls will put up with for a guy with a sense of humor...
• OH HEY MONTEGO GLOVER AS HIT LIST’S STAGE MANAGER! You’re no Linda/Ann Harada, but we’ll take you.
• Derek has invited 10 possible producers to the same performance of Hit List. Among them, Scott Rudin, Daryl Roth, David Stone, and Kevin McCollum are all listed. Plus 50 for naming actual producers. Plus another 50 for saying that Rudin wants to write the check to transfer the production without even seeing it.
• Agnes has Ivy Lynn on a number of ridiculous press outings, including some sort of signing at a Macy’s sweater sale. Plus 100 because Broadway doesn’t necessarily get the best press opportunities and they are always doing partnerships with Macy’s that don’t exactly make sense.
• Ivy Lynn says she can’t wait to get home to her bed, her DVR, and the entire season of GIRLS she missed. Plus 60 because we dream of doing the same thing.
• Agnes and Eileen break down the current status of Bombshell’s Tony competition: “Marisa Tomei broke her leg, which means Moonstruck won’t be going to Broadway this season. Imitation of Life is DOA. The Lloyd Webber just posted its closing. So if we stay open ‘til June, that Tony is ours.” Plus 100 because this is exactly how producers and press agents think - and crazy theater bloggers like us too!
• Agnes thinks staying open until June might be challenging. “Advance sales aren’t what they should be, we haven’t gone a day without being on the TKTS board since we opened.” Shows with no stars and positive reviews, but not across-the-board raves struggle with this all the time. And as much as it pains us to give them points for introducing this plotline, plus 50.
• Tom wants Julia to go back on her promise to do Gatsby with Scott because it’s their “dream project.” As shitty as it would be to do that, Dave has to side with Tom here. If this has been their long standing plan together, it would be really shitty to walk away from this now. Especially because Julia decided to move forward with Gatsby in like, 5 seconds without really giving Tom proper time to discuss it. Linda actually sides with Julia here because like Scott says, Tom only wants to do Gatsby now that City of Angels has fallen through, which is pretty shitty. Like Tom and Julia, even Dave and Linda disagree sometimes. 
•Jimmy stumbles into rehearsal from a cab with two sexy ladies. OF COURSE HE DOES.
• The longer opening credits are back! And we’re oddly happy about that!
• People are lined up in the cold waiting for rush tickets to Hit List and it looks like every rush line we’ve ever been in with the blankets, the beanies, and the coffee to keep warm. Plus 500 because even though Hit List kinda bugs the crap out of us, we’d probably be there too.
• Ivy is on the phone with Derek, and says she has a “Broadway Talks Back” Q&A with Tom and Julia. She also tells him she has a Group Sales Event the next day. And then she leaves her conversation with him to do a phone interview. Hey, if they’re going to make Ivy busy, at least they’re giving her plausible things to do! Also, that phone interview is probably with one of us!
• “I was drunk and starstruck,” Kyle says of his hookup with Tom. Plus 200 because we’ve used that line a few times.
• Derek is auditioning new people for Jimmy’s understudy. Plus 20.
• Kyle reads Karen Cartwright like a book, blaming her for Jimmy’s demise. “She begged him to open up to her for months,” he says. “And when she finally did, she didn’t like what she heard and bailed. And then she brought her friend in to audition for his part.” He may be a little off here, but it’s about time someone called Karen on her shit.
• A fan boy tells Kyle that he saw Hit List three times. He’s the Kyle of three months ago! Full circle moment!
• Even Kyle’s parents are nervous about Jimmy. Plus 50 because if Carolee Carmello were our mom, we’re pretty sure she’d be invested in our friend’s lives too!
• Seconds before their Q&A, Julia tells Tom she’s doing Gatsby at MTW, and he reminds her that she secured the rights in their company name. Man, if this doesn’t lead to a “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” number, then we’ll be pissed.
• OH HEY KEVIN MCCOLLUM AND DARYL ROTH PLAYING THEMSELVES! Plus 20! And another 20 because Roth calls McCollum “Kev.”
• Jimmy shows up 10 minutes before performance, and Derek reminds him that if this happened on Broadway, he’d get a fine. Plus 10.
• The opening of Hit List is still really great.
• Julia and Tom have a crazy meltdown at the Q&A and it’s great. Though Tom says that he and Julia are no longer working together and we secretly hope that doesn’t stop Shaiman and Wittman from working together again!
• The pre-Hit List announcement is bananas: “Ladies and gentleman. We’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that the use of cellphones and other recording devices is not only permitted, but encouraged. Record the show in its entirety for all we care. We don’t own it more than you do.” Hit List is so hip, you guys!
• If Jeremy Jordan could just sing on this show and we didn’t have to endure Jimmy’s backstory and terrible personality, we’d be much happier.
• Julia claims that Tom didn’t ask her to wait for him to do Gatsby. Um.. Julia, go back and watch last week’s episode. He did ask you. You just couldn’t wait 10 minutes without making a decision.
• Julia says that Gatsby is “the first thing that has really made me happy in years.” Damn! We didn’t know Brian d’Arcy James was THAT bad of a husband.
• Yet another new Hit List song, and this time it’s another Joe Iconis number, “The Goodbye Song.” You know, Iconis has given us our favorite song from Hit List so far, “Broadway Here I Come.” “The Goodbye Song” is pretty great too. Maybe they should have had him just write every song from Hit List? Then at least they’d sound like they were written by the same person.
• At the end of “The Goodbye Song,” the entire cast picks up some American Idiot choreography that makes us miss the fuck out of that show.
• Derek decided to shut down Hit List for a few days to give Sam the chance to prepare for Jimmy’s role. Plus 20 because even though Sam’s totally wrong for the role, we’re glad they’re at least rehearsing in an understudy.
• When Daryl Roth asks Kevin McCollum about Hit List, he says, “High energy. Um...very talented,” as if he’s searching for nice things to say. Plus 10 because we’ve been in situations where someone asked us what we thought of a show within earshot of a member of the creative team.
• Agnes tries to talk McCollum and Roth out of producing Hit List, calling it “culty” and comparing it to Hedwig and Rocky Horror. Damn, this makes us love her even more.
• Kevin McCollum says that he likes edge, and brings up Avenue Q, which he produced, and Rent, which he was a co-producer on. Plus 50.
• Also, McCollum compared Hit List’s edginess to Rent. RIGHT TO DAPHNE RUBIN-VEGA’S FACE! Plus 100!
• “There’s edge and then there’s cliff,” Agnes says, in response to McCollum. Plus 50.
• Kyle’s mom gets Karen to sign her Hit List Playbill. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, huh
• Blake breaks up with Kyle after hearing that Kyle cheated on him. Finally, a gay man who stands up for monogamy.
• Karen gives Kyle the motivation to stand up to Jimmy and cut him out of Kyle’s life. Plus 100 because this is the best thing that Karen has ever done on SMASH.
• Eileen tells Derek that taste doesn’t move producers, money does. There are exceptions to this, like Jordan Roth, but it’s mostly true.
• Eileen tells Derek that she can’t invest in Hit List because she can’t bet against herself. “I loved the show,” she tells him. “I didn’t want to, but I did.” All in all, it’s a really nice conversation. Eileen and Derek are honest with and supportive of each other, and it’s the kind of friendship we can root for.
• The sales of Bombshell are up 7%. We love you Agnes. You keep doing your thing.
• Ivy chooses watching GIRLS instead of hooking up with Derek. Not going to lie, but we’d probably do the same thing.
• Hey, the previews for the next week’s episode are back. Thanks NBC!
• The previews for next week’s episode show a Hit List Broadway marquee with a sign that says “Previews begin April 9.” SO MUCH FOR THAT CLIFFHANGER!
• She may be gone from the show, but we’re still having THE ANN HARADA LINE OF THE WEEK, DAMMIT! “No disrespect to Montego Glover’s character, but none of my actors ever showed up 10 minutes before Bombshell performances. So...!” WE LOVE YOU ANN!

Oh Hell No! 
• The Bombshell cast is doing a segment for The Today Show on the master classes the Broadway community offers to musical theater students from around the country. Only thing is, those don’t happen “once a year” like Kathie Lee claims they do.
• Kathie Lee dressed up as Marilyn Monroe performing “The 20th Century Fox Mambo” are the things nightmares are made of.
• The cast of Bombshell are on The Today Show and can’t keep yawning through the segment. Sure, Broadway folks aren’t morning people. But this is ridiculous.
• Julia skips out on The Today Show filming because she’s clearly still mad at Tom. Also, maybe she likes to sleep in? Also, she would have no reason to be there. Her work on Bombshell is done at this point.
• Scott Nichols has already announced Julia’s Gatsby play to his board. How many lines has Julia written of it so far?
• Jimmy is two hours late to the Hit List photoshoot. “You know he left in his costume last night,” Ana says, implying something’s wrong with Jimmy. Sure, you’re not supposed to leave in your costume. But as long as Jimmy’s not wearing an angel costume and singing “Cheers (I’ll Drink To That)” in the middle of Times Square, we’re sure he’s okay.
• Come on. Ken Davenport surely would be one of the producers clamoring to produce Hit List. Minus 10.
• Minus 100 because we’d probably see Marisa Tomei in a Moonstruck musical.
• Eileen thinks that launching a radio campaign might help Bombshell sell some tickets. Great idea Eileen! It’s like it’s the ‘90s all over again!
• Julia missed The Today Show press event because she was writing her Gatsby play? The Julia we know doesn’t write! At least not without the help of a dramaturg. Minus 100.
• Also, Julia bought the stage rights to The Great Gatsby all on her own? We’re sure she has money, but she can’t be THAT rich! Unless Three on a Match has some serious touring/regional production life we don’t know about. And even then - she just went through a divorce, and that shit is expensive. He was a chemistry teacher!
• Tom says that his directing gig for City of Angels didn’t come through. Minus 500 because we’ll never get to see a City of Angels revival on Broadway - even if it’s a fake one on SMASH.
• Whomever was taking the Hit List photographs decides that without Jimmy being there, they’re just going give Hit List an inside spread rather than the cover. What magazine is this? ‘Cause besides maybe Time Out New York, we’ve never seen stars of an off-Broadway show on the cover anyway. And even then, it’s usually the “Best Bars” issue!
• Scott reads Julia’s first scene of her Gatsby play, and claims “it’s not just an adaptation - it stands on it’s own.” He also says that it’ll win a Tony and that people will be doing Julia’s version for years to come. Um... we want to root for Julia, really we do. But we can’t imagine that she’s writing something better than F. Scott Fitzgerald. That’s why Gatz just used the actual book. Minus 500.
• Scott says that he’s spent some of his reserves from next season on Hit List. “So if that doesn’t transfer to Broadway, I have to follow up with a home run - like Gatsby - or else I’m out.” With shitty business decisions like that, Scott deserves to be out.
• The Tom and Julia Q&A is at Table 46? My god, does EVERYTHING happen there?
• Kyle and Tom have hooked up a few times. Yet Kyle claims he is still with his boyfriend, Blake. Minus 200 because gay men are the worst.
• Jimmy is turning into Lindsay Lohan, being late for work and showing up high, and we’re so not into this plotline.
• Sam is auditioning to be Jimmy’s understudy? He just quit Bombshell because he didn’t want to be a swing on Broadway and now he’s willing to be an understudy off-Broadway? We know Sam doesn’t make the best decisions, but this makes no sense.
• Eileen agrees to a Bombshell performance at the Brighton Beach Senior Center. We know Bombshell is hard up for ticket sales, but this is ridiculous.
• Based on the Hit List performance Eileen saw at the MTW winter benefit, Eileen doesn’t think Hit List is big enough for a Broadway transfer. Um... half the cast was suspended from fabric strips, flying from the ceiling. It looked pretty big to us!
• Jimmy says that he thought that Karen was “the one.” BARF.
• Sam has been cast as Jimmy’s understudy. Man, this show really has no idea what to do with Leslie Odom Jr., huh?
• You’re telling us Kathie Lee and Carolee Carmello are in the same episode of SMASH, and still no mention of Scandalous? Patty and Emily must be devastated! Minus 50.
• No “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” Minus 10.
• The new Hit List song we hear tonight is called “Don’t Let Me Know” and it’s by Lucie Silvas and Jamie Alexander Hartman. It’s pretty not bad! But dammit if all these Hit List songs are melding together in our minds.
• Why does every number from Hit List look like a group number from So You Think You Can Dance?
• Jimmy misses his cue and fails to catch Karen, injuring her. Minus 10 because we wish we enjoyed seeing Karen Cartwright fall more.

• Kyle tells Jimmy that he’s been fired when he’s clearly high as a kite. Spinning Jimmy into an epic takedown of the entire Hit List team, especially Karen and Kyle. In it, he’s pretty damn eloquent for someone who’s on a bunch of coke, no?
• Like, we love Jeremy Jordan, but we’re not a fan of his drunk/high acting.
• Jimmy once again mentions that Kyle is in love with him. Is he still harping on that? Minus 10.
• “It never occurred to me it wasn’t going to get to Broadway,” says Derek, of Hit List. Yeah, it never occurred to us either. Because it’s obviously getting to Broadway.
• Kyle sings “The Last Goodbye” while walking alone down the street. He’s really into that singing and walking thing, huh? Like, we love it when Andy Mientus gets a chance to sing, but this isn’t Glee.
• And there is always a montage when he sings. SMASH, you were doing so well keeping away from these.
• Julia is literally reading The Great Gatsby and then going to her computer to write scenes for her Gatsby play. Ugh. That’s a terrible way to show how writers work on adaptations.
• Karen’s flirting attempts with Derek are making us even more uncomfortable than Jimmy’s breakdown.
• Kyle packs up Jimmy’s shit and leaves it waiting for him at his brother’s place. That seems like a lot of work, no?
• Minus everything for this lame-ass cliffhanger where Kyle might be run over by a car.

Did you also think this episode was disappointing in comparison to last week’s? What did you think of the cliffhanger? Let us know in the comments.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The SMASH Reality Index Season 2 Episode 12

Back by popular demand, Dave (@NineDaves) and I have teamed up to bring you our take on what’s keepin’ it real and what’s faking it each week on SMASH. Follow the 'caps here or on Dave's site.

We may base a big part of our Reality Index on SMASH’s major missteps. But believe it or not, we much prefer the show to make the right choices. Which is why when an episode like tonight’s “Opening Night” comes along, we actually feel pretty damn good. Because there were far more “Totally True” moments than “Oh Hell No!” errors. And when there’s an episode with Leo in it, and we’re not even really mad about it, you know SMASH is doing something right.

This episode had everything that makes SMASH actually good when it’s good: memorable musical numbers, legitimate conflicts, and actual realistic glimpses at the behind the scenes of theater. Sure, there were still some ridiculous moments, but overall, we couldn’t be happier with how this episode played out. Read on to see why.

Totally True
• Bernadette Peters is back! And still wearing her Gypsy wig and costume! Plus 50.
• “For the first time I actually feel kind of confident,” Ivy says, the night before opening. It’s about time Ivy! We’ve always believed in you!
• Ivy goes into a self-imposed media blackout until opening. Plus 10 because even though we doubt she’ll make it, if there ever was a time to stop paying attention to message boards, it’s now.
• Julia is brainstorming ideas for her next show with Tom, and suggests musical adaptations of Gulliver’s Travels and Lord of the Flies, a musical built around the poetry of Ezra Pound, and “something Julie Taymor-y with puppets” for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Plus 100 because all of these ideas are terrible, and so is Julia.
• Agnes is calling her sources, trying to get a heads up on the Times review. Plus 10 because that’s what any good publicist would be doing.
• Even though Eileen is upset about the Times article comparing Bombshell to Hit List, Agnes is not. “Bombshell got mentioned just as much as Hit List did,” she says. “That’s a plus in my book.” Duh!
• “The last thing we need is a vindictive journalist,” Agnes tells Eileen. Maybe she worked on The Addams Family musical before this?
• Scott informs the Hit List cast that the show is sold out for the rest of the run. While an off-Broadway house should have a few extensions built into their schedule, it’s pretty likely Hit List would sell out quickly after the Times piece in such a small house.
• Plus 100 because the Bombshell opening is at 7pm. Broadway openings are always earlier than 8pm.
• Karen doesn’t want to go to the Bombshell opening. “It’s like going to your ex's wedding,” she tells Jimmy. “It’s not that you want to get back together, but you don’t exactly want to see them marry someone else either.” Finally - the first thing Karen Cartwright has said that’s made sense all season. Plus 10.
• Also in that conversation with Jimmy, we learn that Karen still “barely talking” to Ana or Derek. We knock SMASH a lot here, but we gotta hand it to them for not pretending like the conflicts in last week’s episode would resolve themselves that quickly.
• “Tomorrow night, you got me in your corner,” Jimmy tells Karen. “If you still want me.” WE’LL TAKE YOU IF SHE DOESN’T WANT YOU, JIMMY.
• Ivy is standing across the street from the “Lilly Hayes” Theater, staring at the Bombshell marquee. We like these little moments when SMASH reminds us that actors remind themselves of the dream even when they’re living it.
• How do we get one of those Bombshell Playbills? We’re totally serious.
• Tom has drinks with producer Chip Preston (Stephen Bogardus), who says he might have to cancel his City of Angels revival last season because he director jumped ship. Plus 100 because even SMASH knows City of Angels will never come back to Broadway! But that doesn’t stop us from wanting it to happen.
• Also, HEEEEY STEPHEN BOGARDUS! LOOKIN’ GOOD TOO! How’s that 1995 Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Love! Valor! Compassion! treatin’ you?
• Ivy has broken down and is now reading the All That Chat message boards. And they’re just as ridiculous as they would be IRL. “Half the grace of her predecessor.” “A career chorus girl.” “Can she even dance?” Plus 20.
• Derek says he’s not going to compare his directing to Tom’s, and Ivy totally calls him on it. It’s like she’s doing our jobs for us!
• Ivy won’t sleep with Derek on the morning of opening night because she doesn’t want to wear herself out. Plus 10.
• Leo says he’s excited about Bombshell because Ivy gets naked. You see Eileen? It worked!
• Julia says she’s going to take Leo to see Hit List because “it’s more up your alley.” Kids and their rock musicals...
• Julia wants to turn The Great Gatsby into a musical. “The big society party scenes, the unrequited love story, the narrator - it’s perfect.” Apparently she and Tom tried to do it a bunch of times but the rights were never available. While we love The Great Gatsby, and turning it into a musical would probably be terrible, dammit if we wouldn’t be into seeing SMASH try that in another season. Too bad SMASH will never get one.
• Ana tries to tell Karen about Jimmy’s past, and Karen’s a total bitch about it. “Can we talk?” asks Ana. “Oh, we’re doing that again?” responds Karen, in her cuntiest tone. Roommate conflicts are fun! Also, this is why we both live alone.
• Karen decides to go to the Bombshell opening after all. Duh. We know we are always hard on her, but it must be said that she looks really nice here.
• Tom tells Julia that announcing their next musical on opening night is a jinx. “We announced our next project at Heaven on Earth’s opening,” he reminds here. “Our Vegas musical? And that didn’t pan out.” That’s a pretty good example to give her, Tom. We would have also gone with, “STFU JULIA! WE’RE OPENING THIS SHOW! CHILLAX!”
• Eileen tells Agnes that she broke up with Richard, and Agnes asks Eileen if she’s out of her tiny mind. Plus 50.
• Leigh and Ivy have a sweet moment backstage before the curtain rises and fuck if we aren’t moved by it. “All it takes to make it in this business is one role if it’s right for you,” Leigh tells Ivy. “You fought like hell and you got that role. You are Marilyn Monroe on Broadway. Now get out there and show everyone what all those years in the chorus has taught you.” AWWWWWWW!!
• And Bernadette is wearing another old Gypsy wig and costume. Plus 50.
• Also, Bombshell has an overture. Plus 100 because we miss these!
• Ivy sings ‘Don’t Forget Me” and it’s a million times better than when Karen sang it in season one. That’s why she’s Marilyn, people!
• Karen is having heart palpitations during Ivy’s performance because it’s fucking brilliant and perfect and she’d never be that good and AHHHH!
• The house gives Ivy a standing ovation. Because DUH!
• Rosie O’Donnell tells Julia Bombshell’s her best work ever. We’re guessing she saw Three on a Match and Heaven on Earth too.
• Rosie blabs to Julia that “Tom’s a great director. I cannot wait to see what he’s going to do with City of Angels. Eileen told me that’s his next project!” Plus 50 because Rosie is a great gossip.
• Derek is screaming “Bravo” and Eileen is crying in the back of the house. AWWWWWWWW x2!
• “I’m not saying it’s better than my version,” Derek tells Scott of Bombshell. “But it’s a pretty good shot.” Of course it’s not as good as your version, Derek, you angry genius.
• Agnes is waiting for the reviews to come in with her PR team. “As soon as these reviews are in I want to start pulling potential quotes for the campaign.” she says, gesturing to a Bombshell poster with “Quote #1, Quote #2, and Quote #3” on there. BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO LIVE WITHOUT THOSE QUOTES, RIGHT MATILDA?
• Variety is the first review in, and calls Bombshell the “finest musical of the season.” Sounds like a boring Variety quote to us!
• The Times review isn’t in yet. “They’re always last,” says one of Agnes’s PR assistants. Plus 10!
• Julia and Tom have a fight, straight out of Merrily We Roll Along. “This isn’t about you,” Tom says. “I just want to make a name for myself as a director. I love writing with you. I look forward to doing it again. But right now what I care about is directing, and that is it.” And then Julia sings “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” Oh wait, no. Sorry that last part just happened in our heads.
• The ladies room has a makeup counter with a ‘Marilyn Yourself’ sign. Cute! We’re guessing there were also theme drinks at this party.
• Ivy says the anticipation for the Times review is killing her. “So are my shoes,” she adds. Plus 10.
• Ivy and Karen find one another in the bathroom at the opening night party, and have a pretty cute scene that - dare we say it - makes us actually like Karen Cartwright! “I can’t stop comparing myself to you,” Ivy tells Karen. “All of those reviewers loved you in Boston.” “They’re going to love you too,” counters Karen. “Ivy, no one could have been better than you tonight. Not me. Not anyone. Not even Marilyn Monroe herself. I was so jealous of you tonight, I almost left at intermission.” It’s nice to see Karen admitting that she’s not the best. Plus 100.
• Ivy reminds Karen that it took her eight Broadway shows to get to Bombshell, calling her ‘the magical Karen Cartwright.’ “You do some tiny show at the Fringe festival and suddenly it’s the can’t miss event of the season!” Plus 50 because again, Ivy’s basically writing the Index for us.
• Ivy says Karen will get to Broadway, “just not this season.” Ha.
• Kyle has a new hairdo and it’s serving us Jason Priestley realness. Plus 50 because we love us some Brandon Walsh.
• Eileen drops a bucket of ice on Jimmy and Adam to break up their fight. “Now get out!” she screams. Plus 100 because we’re glad to finally see Eileen throwing liquid at people again, even if it’s frozen.

• The New York Times review is in and it praises Julia’s book. “Julia Houston has achieved the impossible. She’s less bookwriter here than playwright - and a great playwright at that.” Tom also get’s praise - but for his score. “Tom Levitt’s score is a triumphant combination of soulful melodies and foot tapping show stoppers.” His direction on the other hand is called “overblown” and “competing with Julia’s complex masterpiece.” “Houston and Levitt, whose synchronicity previously gave the impression they might be conjoined twins, seem to no longer share a heart. Even in it’s best moments, many though there are, it is clear this Bombshell is marching to two different beats.” Yeah, even without ever having seen Bombshell in its entirety, we know that review is pretty right on. Plus 20.
• “Come on, you know Ben Brantley,” says Julia about The New York Times critic. “If you’re not in US Weekly, he’s got it out for you.” Plus 50 because judging by the raves he’s thrown towards Scarlett Johansson, he does seem to have a thing for celebs. 
• Tom says that even though every critic loved Bombshell, Brantley’s lukewarm review matters most. We hate to agree here as critics ourselves, but the Times does seem to carry more weight than others.
• Ivy gives a speech at the opening party, thanking Julia and Eileen. She also makes a little speech for Tom: “An actor is nothing without a great director. Every move I make out on that stage, I owe in his faith in me, to his humor, and to his incredible talent. He’s the one who gave me this chance. So will everyone please raise their glasses and join me in this toast to Tom Levitt.” AWWWWWWW x3! 
• Ivy also thanks Karen Cartwright in her speech. “I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.” Because she quit, right? Very classy of her. Plus 10. 
• Karen and Ivy sing “That’s Life.” And fuck, it’s extraordinary. We really think we wouldn’t hate Karen that much if she and Ivy were buddies from the start. 
• Also, plus 50 for having Marc Shaiman at the piano! 
• Julia and Scott take a limo back home together. Without Leo! Plus 20 because we hope he’s walking home.
• Leigh says goodnight to Ivy. “You made me so proud tonight,” she tells Ivy. “I’m so glad I get to work with you everyday.” AWWWWWWWWW x4! 
• Ivy decides not to go home with Derek, after learning that he asked Karen out a few weeks ago. She then walks away from him with a smile on her face. Which we love, because Ivy’s so much better than that! 
• “The last opening night I went to, they didn’t even make it to the end of the second act,” Kyle tells Tom, referencing Liaisons. Plus 10 because we had forgotten about that. 
• Kyle tells Tom Bombshell is the best Broadway musical he has ever seen. We love a good fanboy and their selective memories. 
• Seriously SMASH, you better give us a Christian Borle / Andy Mientus shirtless makeout session next week, or else! 
• Didn’t we say Tom and Kyle would be cute together? Are the writers of SMASH reading the Reality Index? If so, we still want Tom and Derek to hook up before the show gets canceled! 
• Daisy Parker (Mara Davi) apologizes to Derek for sexual harassment allegations all those weeks back, saying she only joined the suit to get back out in the business. It didn’t. But she still goes home with him after seeing Bombshell. We get it. We’re talent sluts too. 
• Also, HEY MARA DAVI! Loved you in Death Takes a Holiday with Julian Ovenden (JFK)!
• Eileen says that Bombshell is going to sweep the Tonys. DAMMIT WE HOPE SO! 
• Even though she wasn’t in it this week, we love her too much not to have THE ANN HARADA LINE OF THE WEEK! “Sorry I missed the Bombshell opening! I was stealing Cinderella over at the Broadway Theatre. Later losers!” CONGRATULATIONS ANN!

Oh Hell No! 
• Eileen reminds Agnes that Richard is an editor, not a critic. Which reminds us again how dumb the Hit List team is for adapting their show to meet his likes. And how it still makes no sense for him to have written such a biased and opinionated article about Hit List and Bombshell. It’s like the Times already reviewed Bombshell before opening. 
• Agnes tells Eileen to text Richard “and say you can’t wait to see him and you’re not wearing any underwear.” Minus 20 because Eileen is far too old for sexting. 
• Eileen Rand invited the whole Hit List cast to the Bombshell opening? We get that she might be trying to be nice to Derek and Karen - and maybe even Scott after Julia’s involvement with Hit List. But for someone who was so upset about that Times article, we’re pretty sure Eileen would never extend the olive branch like that. Minus 50 because clearly this is just a device to have all the action happening in one place. Josh Safran, your Gossip Girl roots are showing again. 
• As Ivy Lynn stares at the Bombshell marquee after the show, she overhears an older couple coming out of the restaurant across the street, complaining about her role in Bombshell. “I liked it, but I didn’t love it,” the man complains. “You never love anything,” his wife says. “The music was great.” “It’s not the music,” he responds. “It’s her. Did you read the Playbill? Been knocking around the ensemble for years.” So many things are wrong with this scenario. The first being that these people would have clearly gone to dinner before the show. The second being that no one would have complained about a chorus girl in a leading role who was that good. The third being that they called “TAXI” for a cab home. And the fourth being that Donna McKechnie would have supported a chorus girl getting her big break, dammit! 
• Adam is hanging outside the Hit List stage door, and tells Ana that he’s Jimmy’s brother. He also mentions that Jimmy wouldn’t want to see him. THEN WHY ARE YOU HANGING AT THE HIT LIST STAGE DOOR, BUDDY?! 
• Tom says that whomever directs City of Angels has to nail the noir. “It’s doesn’t have to be purely comic, it can be dark and tragic too.” Um, Dave saw City of Angels back in 1991 and he doesn’t remember it ever being purely comic. Minus 10 because Tom’s suggestion seems pretty fucking obvious here. But we suppose this is keeping in line with the fact that Tom is a terrible director.
• Chip asks Tom to direct the City of Angels revival. They may be old friends, but we don’t think he would have offered him that gig without reading the reviews of Bombshell first.
• We hated the old credits, but the new, shorter credits are worse. Minus 20.
• Ivy is reading message board•s to prepare herself for what critics will say about her, which makes no sense because often shows are torn apart on message boards, only to be loved by critics and vice versa.
• The way people are talking about Jimmy’s past it makes it sound like he killed someone. Who is he, Serena van der Woodsen?
• Julia is finally moving out of Tom’s place. “I can’t sleep on the couch forever!” Um... didn’t Tom have to drag her out of bed a few episodes back? We’re pretty sure she was staying in a guest room.
• Tom, Julia, and Leo take a limo to the Bombshell opening. What is this, prom? Minus 30.
• On the way to the Bombshell opening, Julia tells Tom about Gatsby.“ Our lawyer is working on getting us the rights as we speak,” she says. “It’s the only project for us - I already told Agnes we’d make the announcement at the party.” We know things need to move fast, but calm the fuck down Julia. Also, can we talk about how The Great Gatsby will probably never work as a musical? It’s been attempted before.
• There’s no red carpet at the Bombshell opening. And photographers are snapping pictures at the limo as it pulls up. Minus 50 because while some Broadway shows have openings without a major press area, Bombshell surely wouldn’t.
• Eileen dumps Richard in the lobby before opening. Did she not listen to anything Agnes said? Why would she bring him all the way to dump him like that? Minus 10.
• How can Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman exist as themselves in a world where Tom and Julia write their music? We love seeing them, but it does make our head hurt a little.
• Jimmy finally tells Karen the truth about him. “My dad beat the crap out of me and my mom,” he says. “After she died, me and Adam were on the streets. I dealt drugs. I used them. I watched people OD and I didn’t call 911. When you’re living life like that, you do a lot of things that you are not proud of. Adam got me into that life. So when I tell you that Adam is nobody to me, it’s because he is nobody to me.” Wait, THAT’S THE BIG SECRET OF JIMMY’S PAST? That’s the thing Kyle said might “push Karen away for good?” Seriously? That really doesn’t seem like that big a deal.
• Jimmy tells Karen, “I wasn’t a good person but ever since I met you, that’s all I want to be.” BAAARF.
• Agnes is worried that there will be consequences for Eileen breaking up with Richard. The Times review is written and Richard is a professional. What’s he going to do, call up Ben Brantley and have him change his review? Of course not.
• Karen is sitting next to Derek at Bombshell opening. If she was having such problems with Derek, wouldn’t she have found another seat?
• Tom runs up onstage from the audience to take his bow during the Bombshell curtain call. Minus 10 because he would have already been backstage.
• Also, Julia would have gone with him. And where are the flowers? THERE WOULD BE FLOWERS!
• There’d also be more celebrities at the opening. No disrespect to Rosie or anything, but she wouldn’t be the only one.
• And Rosie would have waited until the party to talk to Julia about Tom doing City of Angels.
• Oh, it looks like according to this press shot, Matthew Broderick was supposed to be in this episode. Why was he cut?

• While we’re talking about who’s missing from this opening, where’s Linda the stage manager? And Jerry? And Katie, Eileen’s daughter. And Sam? And Veronica Moore? And Lyle West, who invested in the show? They should all be here. 
• “It’s the best show on Broadway... for now,” Derek says to Scott, revealing his desire to move Hit List to Broadway. “I wonder if that will happen?” says no one watching at home. 
• Ana invited Jimmy’s brother to the opening party? Minus 20 because she would know better.
• Jimmy and Adam get into a fist fight at the Bombshell party. They may be violent goons, but even they would have had the sense to take it outside. 
• Wait, this party is at The Carter Hotel? Everyone knows that place is a total shithole. Minus 200.
• Karen breaks up with Jimmy, saying that he “scares her.” OMFG GURL! GO BACK TO IOWA!
• When Jimmy is sitting outside all sad, did anyone else expect his brother to come up with him and say, “Well well well. What have we here? It’s going to be a happy new year,” and hand him some drugs? Just us? OK. 
• Scott agrees to take Hit List to Broadway, asking Derek of Ivy and Karen, “I wonder which one the Tony voters will prefer?” Yes, SMASH. We know that’s where you’re going with this whole thing. We’ve been saying it all season. You don’t need to spell it out for us. 
• After the party, Julia tells Scott, “Another opening, another blow.” You just got a rave in the Times, gurl! 
• Scott tells Julia to do Gatsby as a play in the fall. At his theater. Sorry - but an artistic director of a theater wouldn’t give a slot to a new play without reading it first. No matter how much he wanted to get with the author. 
• Also, Scott would know better than to do The Great Gatsby as a play so soon after Gatz
• We love that Kyle and Tom are getting together, but what about Kyle’s boyfriend? Does monogamy mean nothing to these people? 
• Agnes says Eileen needs to reduce her advertising budget. “You don’t want to get any deeper until you know what word of mouth is.” We understand this concern, but opening night doesn’t seem the time to have this discussion. 
• Eileen doubles her advertising budget because she wants Bombshell to run longer than The Lion King and we laugh out loud. Gurl. You know you don’t have Disney money, right?
• Agnes says that Bombshell won’t be a long-running hit without the support of The New York Times. Apparently she didn’t read the opening night reviews of Wicked
• The opening night party would have been the perfect place to get Daphne Rubin-Vega and Jesse L. Martin on screen together. Minus 100 for not making that happen, SMASH
• Also, this whole thing with not showing previews to next week’s episode has to stop, NBC. It’s annoying.  

Alright Index readers - how’d “Opening Night” play out for you? Do you agree it was as good as we thought it was?