Less than eight hours after casting and ticket information was announced March 11 for a one-night-only concert of Bombshell that will take place June 8 at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre, more than 900 backers pledged more than $150,000 on Kickstarter in order to gain access to ticket pre-sale for the event.
Bombshell is the name of the apocryphal Broadway play-within-a-TV-show whose casting and tryout provided the backdrop for the TV series, "Smash" (2012-2013). The concert will consist of songs from Bombshell written for the TV series.
Several packages on Kickstarter – in the $1,000-$5,000 price-range – guarantee orchestra seats to the highly-anticipated event at the 1,621-seat Minskoff. However, most of the 467 Kickstarter backers are in the $25-$100 range, which only provides eager theatregoers with an advance pre-sale notification to purchase tickets on April 13, a day before tickets go on sale to the general public.
"It's so great because it means all this extra money will be going to The Actors Fund," Zadan said on the phone Wednesday afternoon as the Kickstarter had already surpassed $91,000. Both Zadan and Meron said they were overwhelmed by fan response for the event, but that their faith in "Smash" and its merits hadn't wavered despite its brief life. "In the last couple of months we've noticed that there's been an uptick in the interest in 'Smash.' Now that it's gone it has become sort of a cult show," Meron said. "So, we had a feeling that that might happen in time. And it now has happened."
"I think you can never really count anything," Zadan said.
"When the Actors Fund came to us and asked if we would do this for them, we were so excited at the opportunity because we always honestly believe that this is absolutely Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's best score since Hairspray," he continued. "And we thought, 'How thrilling would it be to get that entire cast back together again with a full orchestra and to do all these songs – one after the next? Then, to also get Joshua Bergasse back – who choreographed all those numbers on the show – to re-choreograph them on stage. We just thought it would be an amazing night of theatre."
According to Meron, "It's just going to be a concert. There's nothing about it that resembles a show. It's one song after the next."
When asked if they were surprised at how strongly fans reacted, Zadan replied, "I think that everbody was taken aback in a great way that this has exploded. It's going to be really hard to get a ticket and I think that's good news for The Actors Fund."
If it sells out could there be a second concert? According to Zadan, "It's always been conceived as a one-time only thing. I have no idea what could happen if it completely sells out. But I would say that right now, there's absolutely no plan to do it again. It's just planned for once and once only."
Stars of "Smash" will reunite for the event that is produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Bombshell will be co-directed by Joshua Bergasse and Wittman with choreography by Bergasse. It is presented as a benefit for The Actors Fund.