Although “Smash” was one of NBC’s biggest hits last season, this backstage look at the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe fared surprisingly poorly at the Emmy Awards reaping only four bids for guest Uma Thurman, choreography and two songs.
Among those snubbed was Debra Messing who stars as the lyricist of the show within a show. On Tuesday, it was announced that her “Will & Grace” castmate Sean Hayes is joining “Smash” for an extended arc as a film actor making his Broadway debut in a tuner version of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.”
Hayes won the first of his seven consecutive Comedy Supporting Actor bids for “Will & Grace” in 2000 while Messing claimed the Comedy Actress Emmy in 2003 on the fourth of her five nominations. Since that show shuttered, Hayes has tried his hand at producing (“Hot in Cleveland”) and reaped a Tony nod for his Broadway debut in the musical “Promises, Promises” in 2010.
There is certainly plenty of awards pedigree among the cast and creatives involved in “Smash.” Recent Tony champ Christian Borle (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) plays Messing’s composing colleague while Tony nominee Brian D’Arcy James (“Shrek”) was her husband (that role is being phased out). And ever-classy Oscar winner Angelica Huston (“Prizzi’s Honor”) made her series debut as the producer of the Broadway-bound show.
The “Smash” tunes are by Tony champs Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) and Tony-winning director Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”) helmed the pilot. However, creator and showrunner Teresa Rebeck stepped down and has been replaced by Josh Safran (“Gossip Girl”).
Besides Hayes, other additions to the cast for the sophomore season include Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) as a Broadway diva as well as Tony nominees Daniel Sunjata (“Take Me Out”) and Jeremy Jordan (“Newsies”).