For Broadway fans, the best thing about Smash is, hands down, the music. Tony-winning composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (now taking questions for a double Ask a Star feature) wrote a slew of dynamic anthems and ballads for Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee to belt out in Bombshell, available on CD on February 12. Heading into its second season, NBC’s hit dramedy will take a page from its own book and tap rising composers to supply tunes for forthcoming musical storylines. Here's a preview of six composers (including one team) worth watching—and worth listening to when Smash returns to television on February 5!
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Pasek & Paul had a fast rise since graduating from the University of Michigan six years ago, including two major NYC productions in the past six months: the Second Stage hit Dogfight and a Broadway debut of their musical adaptation of A Christmas Story. Their song cycle Edges has also made its way into every young male hopeful’s audition book.
YouTube This: “Along The Way” (featuring Aaron Tveit)
Gasparini has written the music, lyrics and book for a number of shows popularized on the cabaret circuit. Crazy, Just Like Me, Above My Pay Grade, Circles and Make Me Bad are among this singer/songwriter's theatrical highlights, and his material has been featured in festivals and concerts dedicated to rising composers.
YouTube This: “Make Me Bad” (featuring Lindsay Mendez)
Smash marks the first foray into the Broadway genre for McMahon, a pop songwriter who has played with the bands Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate. If his individual releases are any indication, McMahon is one of the most exciting composers to watch this season.
YouTube This: “My Racing Thoughts”
It’s safe to bet that every young theater performer has performed—or at least heard—a Joe Iconis number. For 10 years, Iconis has merged rock and musical theater into a unique style that sets his work apart. One of his signature songs, “Broadway, Here I Come!” serves as the debut tune for Jeremy Jordan on Smash’s first episode.
YouTube This: “Blue Hair” (featuring Krysta Rodriguez)
British singer-songwriter Silvas came to the attention of Smash showrunner Josh Safran by way of Katharine McPhee, after co-writing three songs on the Smash star's Unbroken album. Though she has never penned musical theater songs, Silvas' debut album Breathe In was a hit on the U.K. charts, and her third studio album is due for release later this year.
YouTube This: “What You’re Made Of”