It’s more than a new hit TV show. Smash’s plot is a way of life for the Broadway Gypsy. There are thousands trying to make it. Will they ever be more than the chorus girl wearing the angel wings with one solo line in the first act? Most won’t. Some are okay with it. Living in New York and getting even a small piece of the Great White Way is enough. For others, they won’t settle for less than stardom or that lead role in the hottest new musical.
What I love about the show is the opposing qualities of the two main characters. It’s a clever way to hook an audience. Let me be clear. I love the entire cast, storyline, and the musical numbers. But what I love most is not so obvious. I tune in each week to see who I’ll love more. Last week it was Karen Cartwright, this week, it’s Ivy Lynn.
Cartwright is obviously the underdog. The newcomer from Iowa with a whole lotta talent,
she is determined, but not yet tough enough. She’s too sweet to be in it
for the long haul. Up until this week’s episode, I was rooting for her. Girl comes
from small town USA to Manhattan, tries to make it on Broadway and comes so
close, but ends up in the ensemble making 200 bucks a week. Honestly, what a
shot. Most first-timers won’t ever be in the running. That part of the story is
unlikely, but it can happen.
ago. She rode the bus into New York and auditioned for the revival of A Chorus
Line. She had performed quite a bit at the local level, but Broadway was
several stages and a state away. Still, she nailed her audition. I remember watching bits and pieces of it on a segment of CBS’s Sunday Morning,
and also in the film “Every Little Step”. Jessica Lee Goldyn came from nowhere
and landed the role of Val, the tits and ass girl who shouts several expletives
during her monologue as she describes her first audition experience at Radio
City. Below is her version of Val, which I had the pleasure of seeing in 2006 and 2007 on Broadway. She went on to play the role of Cassie later in the show’s run, until the final performance. This girl has the “it” factor.
in a lead role. It’s liberating to know the rules have changed, and I have yet to be disappointed by
any Broadway debut performances.
of a pop star defined by the musical numbers she sings each week. On the other hand,
Ivy Lynn remains strong and loyal to the showtune style which her voice is well-suited for. My guess is that it will
continue in this direction.
who the audience prefers. As of Monday night’s episode, I can feel for Lynn, who
has dedicated her entire life to the stage. She’s probably auditioned
hundreds of times, trained with dozens of teachers while refining her craft, and seen
more rejection than most could ever imagine. Despite losing her shot, she still loves it so and wants it too badly. That love along with the possibility of returning to a chorus girl position brings on the self-destruction. Will she snap out of her downward spiral and seek help for her drug and alcohol addiction? If so, she could take another shot at as a leading lady. Can Cartwright ever be real compeition for Lynn? Since the two nearly became BFFs in the last episode while sharing a bottle and singing in Times Square, I guess most anything is possible on Broadway.
Katharine Mcphee sings Beautiful.
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