On the April 2nd episode of NBC's musical drama SMASH entitled "Hell on Earth", the team begins their pursuit of a marquee star, as Eileen (Anjelica Huston) charges Tom and Julia (Christian Borle and Debra Messing) with finding a title for the newly reinvigorated musical. Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty) find themselves in competition again - this time for an orange juice commercial. Relationship troubles abound, as Frank (Brian d'Arcy James) makes an unwelcome discovery. Jack Davenport, Raza Jaffrey and Jaime Cepero also star along with guest star Norbert Leo Butz as himself.
Norbert Leo Butz won Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for Catch Me If You Can (also Drama Desk Award, Best Actor in a Musical) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (also Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire Awards, Drama League Award winner, Best Actor in a Musical). His other Broadway credits include Enron, Speed-the-Plow, Is He Dead?, Wicked (original cast, Fiyero), Thou Shalt Not (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics nominations), Rent. Off-Broadway credits include Fifty Words, Buicks (Drama Desk nomination), The Last Five Years (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations, Drama League Award), Juno and the Paycock (Roundabout), Saved (TFANA). National Tour: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Cabaret (Helen Hayes Award, Jefferson, Dora and Ovation Awards). Regional credits include Catch Me If You Can (5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle), four seasons at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
His film credits include Greetings From Tim Buckley (2012), Disconnect (2012), The English Teacher (2012), Higher Ground (Sundance Film Festival 2011), Fair Game, and Dan in Real Life. Television work includes his starring role in the series "The Deep End" (ABC); the pilots "The Miraculous Year" (HBO) and "Playing Chicken" (FOX); the mini-series "Comanche Moon" (CBS); "The Good Wife"(CBS), "CSI" (CBS), "Law & Order-Criminal Intent" (NBC).
SMASH centers on the complex and all-consuming process behind the production of an original Broadway musical. Successful songwriting duo and old friends Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) reunite to realise their dream of adapting the life story of screen icon Marilyn Monroe into a hit musical; recruiting tenacious producer Eileen (Anjelica Huston) and brilliant director Derek (Jack Davenport) to bring the production to the stage.
Casting of the title role sparks conflict and rivalry between Karen (Katharine McPhee), a youthful, inexperienced beauty desperate to find fame in the big city, and Ivy (Megan Hilty), a stage veteran determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. From its genesis, the "Marilyn" project is a rollercoaster ride of dramatic highs and lows for its cast and crew that will culminate on opening night, when the audience will determine whether or not the show is a "Smash".
The show was developed by NBC's Robert Greenblatt, Steven Spielberg, and Broadway producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Broadway's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote the music for the show. Michael Mayer directed the project, and playwright Theresa Rebeck penned the script.