THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season Two, Episode 9, Or, I'm a Pretty Girl, Mama

By Kenneth Jones
03 Apr 2013

Ivy ends up telling her mother, in front of the ensemble, "At least the best part of my career is still ahead of me." This public airing — in the upside-down world of "Smash" — emotionally unlocks the women, allowing them to create something authentic in their scenes together. It also leads to another choice original song, "Hang the Moon," by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a duet for Marilyn and her hospitalized mother, Gladys. The sequence is classic "Smash": It blends the tensions/passions of the "actors" with the fantasy of what the onstage Marilyn musical might look like, with sets, costumes, choreography, lights and wigs (including a hairdo for Peters that seems swiped right from her Broadway turn in 1974's Mack and Mabel, a Jerry Herman cult classic with a dynamite score and a less-than-dynamite libretto). Broadway's Jonathan Tunick orchestrated "Hang the Moon." Shaiman wrote this on his Facebook page this week: "Our job was to write a song that equally portrayed Marilyn & her mother and Ivy and her mother. Recording Bernadette in our home studio on a song we wrote was as thrilling as you can imagine. As a teen in 1974, I saw the Opening Night of Mack & Mabel with my friend Jamie, and I swear I can still remember the power of BP's voice shaking the theatre on 'Time Heals Everything.' Anyway, tonight's song, 'Hang the Moon' is very special to us. And oh, it was orchestrated by the one and only Jonathan Tunick and for musical theatre writers, that is pure nirvana!"

Watch "Hang the Moon" here

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