THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season Two, Episode 6, Or, Voices and Visions

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13 Mar 2013

Andy Mientus and Krysta Rodriguez
Photo by Will Hart/NBC

So, jobless Derek shows up at that second Winter Fringe performance of Hit List and is struck with his own vision: Instead of a logo painted on a brick wall, we see a fully lit, costumed and designed take on the rock number that happens in front of that (now three-dimensional) Pepsi-Cola sign.

The characters played by Jimmy and Karen appear on a waterfront pier in Long Island City, Queens, on the East River (where a historic Pepsi sign really stands), singing a duet called "Heart Shaped Wreckage," apparently written by four (!) contributing series songwriters. (They all chipped in and bought a pencil, as Comden and Green once said of their starving-artist existence.)

The song's writers are "Silvas/Green/Irvin/Emry," Shaiman wrote in a Facebook posting. "I'd tell you their first names but we never met them."

The visual reference is to Baz Luhrmann's Broadway production of La Boheme and the film "Moulin Rouge." (Karen looks like she just rolled out of a brothel, or One Touch of Venus, wearing a flowing gown and stringy wig.) What the image also conveys is that Derek is about as original as…Pepsi. Mr. Luhrmann deserves a royalty check from Derek.

By the way, that 12-acre park where the actual Pepsi signage sits is called Gantry State Park, and it's one of the most underpopulated and beautifully developed new parks in New York City, offering the most amazing view of the East Side of Manhattan. Take the No. 7 subway and get off at the Vernon-Jackson stop. The riverfront promenade keeps expanding, down toward Brooklyn and up toward Astoria. While you're walking around the neighborhood, try the best ice cream in Long Island City — the mom and pop shop called Malu, at 12-09 Jackson Avenue. (They named an ice cream flavor after yours truly — Cinnamon Ken. We are not making this up!)


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