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NBC’s “Smash” — the brainchild of Steven Spielberg — is a midseason musical drama that follows the ups and downs of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Whatever you do, do not consider Smash to be the “Glee for grownups,” it is so much more than that.

At the Chicago premiere of “Smash,” the executive producers shared how they brought the project to fruition when everyone in Hollywood said no.
Recalls Craig Zadan, “Every time we went into a movie studio, they kicked us out.”

Speaking of beating the odds, NBC and iTheatrics will launch “NBC’s Smash: Make a Musical,” a national mentorship program designed to build theater programs in undeserved schools in Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Los Angeles; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Boston; Baltimore/Washington D.C.; Cleveland; Houston; Nashville, Tenn.; New York; Oakland, Calif.; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; Seattle; and St. Louis. The program kicks off this month.

“Smash” a production of Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television and Madwoman in the Attic, has some heavy hitters attached to the project — dreamy songwriters Debra Messing and Christian Borle; a refreshing Anjelica Huston as the determined producer Eileen; and Jack Davenport, who is so bad he’s good as the egomaniac director Derek. Actor Brian d’Arcy James attended the screening.

“Smash” debuts on Monday, Feb. 6, at 10 p.m. EST on NBC; for more information, visit www.nbc.com/SMASH.

NBC’s ‘Smash’ Producers Share How They Beat the Odds; NBC/iTheatrics Will Launch Theater Program