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A Bruno Mars Musical, Magical Iowa and Other Smash Highlights

A Bruno Mars Musical, Magical Iowa and Other Smash Highlights
Will Chase & Debra Messing
A showmance, Midwestern fantasy and more on this week's 'Smash.'

In the third episode of NBC’s Broadway-centric drama Smash, entitled “Mr. DiMaggio,” things get personal. Karen (Katharine McPhee) spends a weekend at home in idyllic Iowa, Julia (Debra Messing) reveals an intimate secret and Jerry (Michael Cristofer) keeps his sights on his estranged wife Eileen (Anjelica Huston). Take a look at this week’s Smash-Back highlights:

Best Example of Life Imitating Art (or Vice Versa): In this week’s episode Julia (Messing) admits she once had a hot affair with Michael Swift (Will Chase), a.k.a. the talented actor tapped to play Joe DiMaggio in the workshop of new musical Marilyn. Here’s where it gets meta: According to Us Weekly (is there a better source?!), Messing and Chase are an item off-screen. Both actors are now reportedly in real-life divorce proceedings with their respective spouses. This gives new meaning to the word “showmance.”

Most Winking Inside Joke: While touting the talents of Ivy (Hilty) to a potential partner, Eileen notes she “spent a year in Wicked.” Hilty really is a veteran of the blockbuster Broadway musical, having starred as Glinda, while Ivy was undoubtedly in the ensemble.

Second Best Fake Musical: Move over, Marilyn! Smash has another fake musical. The show takes a jab at jukebox tuners by having Michael Swift star in a “Bruno Mars musical” at real-life downtown theater La Mama. Mars may be a Grammy winner, but with only one album to his name, an entire musical devoted to his catalog is a stretch. Oh, and that Rent mic and familiar scaffolding set? Thanks for reminding us that we saw Will Chase in Rent on Broadway.

Best Example of What East Coasters Think of the Flyover States: When Karen heads to Iowa for the baby shower of a close friend, we get a fantasy version of the Midwest. How do we know we’re not in NYC anymore, Toto? By the iced tea, American flag, white clapboard house complete with porch swing and honky-tonk karaoke bar (paintings of corn, really?). Did we mention the birds chirping and swelling music? Calling JetBlue! We want to book a ticket to this Disney cliché pronto!

Broadway Peeps Popping Up: And the appearances from real-life theater people keep coming! This week features Wicked vet Michelle Federer as Swift’s loving wife, Stick Fly’s Condola Rashad as the girlfriend of scheming assistant Ellis and Tony nominee Karine Plantadit as Swift’s sexy dance partner in that hot “Bruno Mars musical.” There is also an appearance from legendary producer Manny Azenberg (who has a whopping 68 Broadway producing credits to his name) as himself, plus a trio of Broadway alums (Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jenni Barber and Jessica Lee Goldyn) as Karen’s hometown friends. More insider info: the episode also features references to many popular real-life hangouts like the Hell’s Kitchen bar Vintage, Madison Square Park eatery SD26 and East Village staple the Cloister Café.

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