It seems all but inevitable that Bombshell, the Marilyn Monroe biotuner whose creation was the subject of NBC’s behind-the-curtain series Smash, would transition from small screen to Broadway stage. Now it’s a step closer. In the wake of a well-received semi-staged concert of the show earlier this month, Universal Stage Productions has begun development on Bombshell as a real live musical.
Announcement of the project was made by Universal Stage Productions co-chiefs Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jimmy Horowitz, president of Universal Pictures. Chris Herzberger will executive produce for USP, with lead producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who exec produced the TV series as well as NBC’s live telecasts of The Sound Of Music and Peter Pan. Amblin TV co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, who executive produced the series, will participate as producers. Absent from the list, as from the show after its initial episodes, is writer Theresa Rebeck, who created the series and was the showrunner until she was fired by the end the first of its two-season run.
Bombshell was performed on June 8 at the Minskoff Theatre as a benefit for The Actors Fund and was both a sellout and a critics’ favorite. “There is a still a lot of love for Smash and a rabid fan base out there, and we’re thrilled to be able to keep the dream alive as we work towards bringing Bombshell to theater audiences,” said Greenblatt. “Over the course of two seasons an entire Bombshell score was written to service Smash storylines, and now that show will have a chance to stand on its own.” Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the show’s song-writing duo best known for Hairspray, will continue with the new musical.
Zadan added, “We are so thrilled that Smash isn’t over and that Bombshell gets to live on.” Last fall, Meron and Zadan signed the Broadway equivalent of a housekeeping arrangement with the Shubert Organization, Broadway’s biggest landlord. Bombshell is not, at this point, a beneficiary of that deal. “Because Bombshell is being developed by Universal Stage Productions, no conversations have taken place with the Shubert Organization,” an NBCU spokesman told Deadline.
Although a director for the show has not been announced, the TV show’s choreographer Joshua Bergasse, a Tony Award nominee this past season for a revival of On The Town, will stay on for the musical. A book writer will be announced shortly. No casting has been announced and no one from the cast of Smash is involved in the stage musical at this point.