It's become a staple of network television series: the musical comedy episode. "The Drew Carey Show" did it. "Chicago Hope" did it. Now, it "Ally McBeal"'s turn. On the May 22 season finale, Ally and her fellow Beantown lawyers will hit their mark and sing. Some will even dance. According to Associated Press, the series will use a dozen extant songs by Randy Newman, one Newman original "Forever," a song from Madonna and -- in a nod to Broadway -- two numbers from The Music Man.
The episode should present little difficulty for at least half the cast. Jane Krokowski, a veteran of musicals such as Grand Hotel, plays Ally's brazen secretary, and Greg German, who is lawyer attorney Richard Fish, starred in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. Calista Flockhart, meanwhile, has a solid theatre background, if little experience in musicals. Guest-starring on the episode as Ally's parents will be Jill Clayburgh (1776) and James Naughton (Chicago, City of Angels).
--By Robert Simonson