[Kelly’s Newspaper Column]
I’ve got a new girl crush. My Prince and I discovered the show SMASH about a year ago. It aired for two seasons (2012 and 2013) on NBC and became my fave go-to show whenever we plunked down to watch something on our Amazon Firestick TV.
Two words. Ivy Lynn. Ivy, played by Megan Hilty, a bombshell herself (the show’s premise is the behind the scenes look at how a Broadway musical comes to life; in SMASH, the musical in the works is based on the life of Marilyn Monroe and is titled Bombshell) became my new girl crush.
Ivy was the character that had me saying “Let’s watch just one more episode.” Megan is the triple threat, sing, dance, act, as was the entire cast. Since I can do none of the above, I am the quintessential audience member that goes weak in the knees for a big production number or a strong solo performance. Ah, be still my heart.
The character of Ivy was the perfect mix of good girl/bad girl yet you (me) always rooted for her. Katherine McPhee of American Idol fame also shared the marquee as her character vied to play the role of Marilyn as well. Kat held her own, for sure, but she didn’t capture my heart or have me crushing like Megan did.
I never watched Idol and also was pretty ignorant to the lineup of Broadway talent that this show landed. Now it is with giddy delight that I tell you I will see Leslie Odom Jr. this summer (at Ravinia) and I know him as Sam from SMASH. The world knows him as Tony award winner for the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton.
Seeing Sam, I mean Leslie, should be enough for one summer. But some like it hot and my prince knows how to woo a girl. (Even though I am long since needing wooing.) He has arranged for us to see Megan Hilty in concert AND we get to meet her. (I will report on that next time. My prediction is that I will be sweaty and tongue tied.)
SMASH sucked me in and I cried when Ivy Lynn won the Tony for her role as Marilyn in Bombshell, and I am thrilled that the real life Megan Hilty was nominated for the Tony and has racked up all kinds of awards and accolades. If you don’t know her, she was Glinda in Wicked, Doralee in 9 to 5 The Musical (Dolly Parton loves Megan too), and Brooke Ashton in Noises Off. She’s also had several television acting roles, recently including The Good Wife, and if you have toddlers (which Megan does), she is doing some Sofia, The First.
When I crush on someone, it’s their talent in a role that captures me at first (Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge) or just their stage presence (Robbie Williams, Pink, Prince, the Barry). They have to be a decent person to keep me hanging around. The only one in that list I have not seen in the flesh is Robbie. Side note on him, he is beloved the world over, but little known in the states. Go figure.
Anyway, when I need a boost of inspiration, I YouTube Ivy Lynn singing the song “Don’t Forget Me” and it makes me cry. The power in Megan’s voice (and the coming together of the girl and the musical is done so beautifully in SMASH. Kudos to the writers) simply has me in awe and I love to bask in the belting out.
Live theater, live concerts, live singing – there is magic there. That is what I crush on. I have warned my husband that I might cry. That is my gauge for vocal performance – does it move me to tears. Kristin Chenowith with the symphony did. Donny Osmond in Joseph did. Ewan in Guys & Dolls (in London!) did. The list goes on as does my love. For those who can sing (and act and dance), and for my Prince Charming.
My sweet husband knows music moves me. He moves me. He is taking me to Boston and then Provincetown to see Megan Hilty front row with a meet and greet. Ah, yes, be still my heart.
Scratch that. Let it beat wildly, for music, for performance, and for him, my real and true and lasting forever sweet sweet crush.