"Smash," the new NBC musical drama that offers an inside look at the creation of a Marilyn Monroe-inspired musical, features a cast of Broadway and stage veterans, including Drama Desk nominee Megan Hilty (9 to 5) and Tony nominees Brian d'Arcy James (Shrek) and Christian Borle (Legally Blonde).
In the final rounds of "American Idol," Katharine McPhee, who stars in "Smash" as New York City-newcomer Karen Cartwright, performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Although she didn't take the title of "Idol," the song, which was made famous by Judy Garland, earned her second place in the reality singing competition.
Here, McPhee performs "Somewhere" from the Stephen Sondheim-Leonard Bernstein-Arthur Laurents musical West Side Story with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Although McPhee hasn't been on Broadway—yet—her voice seems perfect for this musical theatre classic.
Hilty, who made her Broadway debut in the hit musical Wicked, played the part of Glinda both on Broadway and on tour. Here, she sings "Out Of My Mind," a song from a lesser-known musical, Ryan Scott Oliver's Mrs. Sharp.
Following Wicked, Hilty originated the role of Doralee Rhodes in the musical 9 to 5, which garnered her Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Here, she performs "Shine Like the Sun" with co-stars Stephanie J. Block and Allison Janney on "The View."
Borle received his first Tony nomination for his performance in Legally Blonde. The musical, which received seven Tony Award nominations, was also filmed for MTV and later broadcast on the network. Here is his MTV performance of the act one number "Chip on My Shoulder."
Although Borle is filming "Smash," the Tony nominee is confirmed to repeat his performance as the devious pirate Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, which was seen in a 2011 Off-Broadway engagement at New York Theatre Workshop. Here are highlights from the show. Maybe Borle will earn a second Tony nomination this season...
D'Arcy James, who will not be doing much singing in "Smash," has starred in several musicals both on and Off-Broadway. His first major Broadway outing was in the Tony-winning musical Titanic; here, he performs a tune from that Maury Yeston score with Martin Moran on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show."
In the Off-Broadway production of Next to Normal, d'Arcy James starred as Dan. Although he did not transfer with the production to Broadway in order to take on the role of Shrek—for which he received a Tony nomination—here is his performance of "I've Been."
Although this is not a musical performance, we thought we'd include a clip from the NBC sitcom "Will and Grace." Debra Messing, who stars in the series as Grace Adler, won an Emmy Award in 2003 for her work on the series. Here, she tells Karen, played by Megan Mullally, that she is the worst assistant ever. Will she act the same towards her assistant on "Smash," played by Jaime Cepero?
Speaking of Cepero, here is a clip of him singing Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk's popular "Run Away With Me," which is from the musical The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown. Maybe he'll be asked to sing in the Marilyn musical this season on "Smash"!