Between Ivy having a full-fledged Spanonian meltdown, Karen hypnotizing a group of tiny Jews, and Eileen crowing “it’s my turn” before annihilating an animated deer, “Chemistry” may have been Smash’s campiest episode to date. And that’s saying something. (The writers also might owe some royalties to Darren Aronofsky – but hey, who among us doesn’t?)
Some may bemoan this development, grumbling that Smash was supposed to be a realistic take on Broadway. To them, I’ll say only this: I’d rather watch a show that’s ridiculous than a show that’s boring. Sure, Campy Smash can inspire more than a few eye-rolls. But it’s also much more fun to dissect than the adoption story line or Leo’s awful acting.
And on that note, let’s head to the rehearsal space, where Julia is frantically switching scenes around as Tom and Derek watch. Derek is more than a little annoyed with her, and rightfully so; the workshop performance is getting closer every day, but Marilyn’s book and lyrics still aren’t close to being finished. (What, then, have they been rehearsing? Oh well, suspension of disbelief.) It seems that adultery is acting as a dam for Julia’s creative flow. As the creative team argues, Terrible Ellis lurks in his lerkim and adds more secrets to his hair.
Karen, meanwhile, is busy gasping, first over the ever-changing script and then over her astronomical credit-card bill. Dancer Sue doesn’t see what the big deal is, since she only owes $326.38. If her own bill were that low, she’d be “singing and dancing,” says Sue. “You’d be singing and dancing anyway!” Bobby and Jessica reply in unison. See, they simply cannot do it alone!
Ellis scurries over to Eileen’s office and tells her that Marilyn is basically in shambles. She grabs her stuff and heads to rehearsal just in time to see Ivy totally choking while singing “Let Me Be Your Star.” Her once-perfect voice is suddenly sounding pretty pitchy, dawg; she can’t even get close to hitting the notes she usually nails easily. If Ivy suffers the same fate as poor Julie Andrews, I might burst into sobs.
Ivy and Tom head to the doctor while the rest of the cast continues rehearsing. Shortly after Derek dismisses everyone, Tom returns and tells the team that Ivy’s throat is inflamed. Though the doc has prescribed a steroid, Ivy is hypersensitive to drugs and doesn’t want to take it. Everyone else, though, is concerned that mere vocal rest and tea won’t be enough. Derek doesn’t waste time suggesting that they ask Karen to fill in for Ivy. Tom’s completely against the idea – if Ivy finds out, it’ll only freak her out more. As they discuss their options, they have no idea that Karen is still in the room.
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