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2/5/13

8 (or 12) New Additions to Smash That Have Revved Up My Excitement for this Season

I don't know at what point it all began - my recollection suggests early-summer - but it seemed like a new cast or crew announcement for Smash was as periodic as the sunday paper. The show seemed dead-set on outdoing Chicago in pulling in the big guns and the big-name draws for their second season...except unlike ChicagoSmash's recruitment, you know, matters. With that said, here's a list of some new names attached to the second season that will induce many SQUEE moments...even if they are short-lived in Smash's continuous pile of fail.

Jeremy Jordan -- It took a great performance in Newsies to make me punch-drunk on the Jeremy Jordan Kool-Aid, but there is no denying he knows how to act all gritty and belt the high notes. And after months of playing Jack Kelly's Brooklyn accent to a hilt, he gets to don it again as Jimmy, a potential love interest for Karen. Because Smash doesn't have enough of those and Karen is just that irresistible with her charisma oozing out of every pore.

God Karen, You Just Can't
Have EVERYTHING
Krysta Rodriguez -- I am no margarine purveyor, but even Krysta's whole "I'm just a lovely, little girl" schtick in her "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" commercials made me want to eat margerine by the spoonful. Oh, in addition to originating the role of Wednesday Adams in The Addams Family, she was also in this rarely-seen show called, I  think, Spring Awakening. By default, I love her like I love cookies. She gets to reunite with Wesley Taylor, her real-life BFF and former The Addams Family co-star, so hopefully the writers know that pairing can bring about bonkers and cray cray fun for days. Krysta's character becomes roommates with Karen...does the latter bitch really have to have everything? Dislike.

Andy Mientus -- Like a boss, Andy became my favorite person without really doing anything. Well, that's not true...he did have like one or three lines in last year's Carrie, in which he practically ran off with the show. Also, he's cute in that, "OMGosh, you're like a pillow. I want to hug the eff out of you" kind of way. He's playing Kyle, Jimmy's best friend and musical co-conceiver, so expect a lot of ship bromance friendship moments. If these two are not in the sack together by the end of the season, talk about a lost OTP.

Jennifer Hudson -- I'll be frank; I miss my "And I'm Telling You," Effie White version of J. Hud. With each pound she loses, an angel gets engulfed in flames.

Having said that. she looks great and this was certainly one of the more interesting casting choices. For one, they already had the diva voice locked up with Megan Hilty (and a little bit of Katherine McPhee, if you must), but adding a MACH FIVE diva voice can only expand the proceedings. Show of hands: who honestly doesn't think that Hudson will do anything else, but bring the roof down? Also, because Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman don't budge too often from their, admittedly dated, 1950's and 60's-inspired songs, Hudson can at least provide a Shirelles or a Supremes pastiche to the mix.

Jesse L. Martin -- Even though he's playing a, you guessed it, potential love interest for Julia (because things worked out so well last year for her?), Jesse has been doing a lot of Law & Order and subsequently, kept him off the stage. Last seen on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice and not much else, we don't see the guy nearly as enough as we would like. I would consider that a shame because you listen to the OBC recording of Rent and know he has a strong voice. Love interest or not, the anticipation of Martin's appearance, like Mientus and Jordan, is wonderful even just to fill out the male voice quota that was dominated by Will Chase last year.

Daphne Rubin-Vega -- I am absolutely beside myself at the prospect of a theater publicist making its way through the show. Oh sure, I expect a more trope-esque, generic characterization, but c'mon...theater publicist? THEATER PUBLICIST? My dream career?!?! I can't even. Like I really can't even. And if they go the tough-as-nails publicity bitch route (which I'm almost certain they will), leave it to Ms. Daphne to cut quite a figure while cutting bitches left and right.

Sean Hayes -- Blah blah blah, GRACE ADLER and JACK MCFARLAND on the same show! It's like the 2004 fairy came and hooked. us. up. It's also worth noting that Sean Hayes is just an all-around entertaining figure and definitely has the theater cred to hold his own (a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in Promises, Promises). I'm hoping his actor character can be both the flamboyant, "Just Jack" type and the funnyman pal who is just there to be bitchy and snarky. Like Seth Rudetsky with the dials turned up (and MAN, is that ever saying something).

Liza Minnelli -- She is Liza; bow down peasants. What could possibly go wrong?

On second thought, don't think about that too much.

Pasek & Paul, Drew Gasparini and Joe Iconis -- I would be remiss if I didn't highlight these composers whom you probably don't recognize as instantly as the others on this list. But trust me, these guys matter. Not only because these guys are young, hot up-and-comers (especially Pasek & Paul, whom have had a banner year), but because they are contributing songs to this season's score and that is the area that Smash needs the most help with.


Photo Credit: NBC/Smash via Zimbio.com
Photo Credit: Sean Hayes WhoSay

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