“Congratulations! You’re pregnant.”
That bombshell — as it were — ended the next-to-last episode of NBC’s “Smash,”
and it sends Broadway star Ivy Lynn into Sunday’s (May 26) two-hour finale with very conflicted emotions. As played by actual Great White Way veteran Megan Hilty
, Ivy has become the toast of New York as Marilyn Monroe
in the musical “Bombshell,”
but the unexpected news from her doctor is among the things she must deal with before the series’ final curtain comes down.
“I’ll be in Hawaii” watching the finale’s broadcast, a cheerful Hilty tells Zap2it
. “I’m going to go to the bar with my boyfriend and all my friends, and we’ll watch it at the resort.” That will follow the stint Hilty had Thursday (May 23) and Friday (May 24) with the Boston Pops at the city’s Symphony Hall, certainly including show tunes in the program.
Hilty says she had fair warning about Ivy’s surprising doctor’s phone call, regarding the baby whose likely father is randy theater director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport), before she had to play that “Smash” moment. “Before I saw it in the script, [executive producer] Josh Safran called me and was like, ‘OK, this is what we have planned. Are you OK with it?’
“Immediately, I thought, ‘Hmm. Interesting. How are we going to deal with it?’ It’s a very delicate subject, and I didn’t want to send the wrong message. And I certainly don’t want to get a lot of hate mail. I think that how we’ve ultimately dealt with it is the ideal situation.”
Since the episode was written as a potential series finale, no question is left about the course Ivy takes. “You see her go through questioning what to do,” says Hilty, “just like a lot of women do. And I think it’ll be satisfying to viewers.”
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The on-set atmosphere during filming of what became the “Smash” swan song was “actually very upbeat,” reports Hilty, who also released her first solo album (“It Happens All the Time”) recently. “We all enjoy each other very much, and it was like it was at the end of last season: ‘We really don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’ve sure had fun.’ And we were determined to have fun until the very last minute.”
Much of Hilty’s acceptance of the “Smash” cancellation, she allows, is that it’s nothing new to her. “That’s theater life,” she reasons. “You do these shows and you become very close with people. You develop these relationships, then all of a sudden, the show is over and everybody’s gone. I’m used to it. I have a lot of ‘summer camp’ friends.”
Having played good witch Glinda in “Wicked” and the Dolly Parton role in “9 to 5: The Musical,” Hilty confirms she’s “been talking about a couple of things” in terms of returning to Broadway — with a reading of Cole Porter‘s “Can-Can” in her immediate future — but as for rumors that “Bombshell” might survive “Smash” as an actual stage show, she dispels them.
“Originally,” she says, “in the first inception of the show when it was [being developed] at Showtime, the idea was possibly to have a different musical at the end of every season that actually would go to Broadway. I think that was before people understood it takes years and years to get a show to Broadway. It just doesn’t work like that.
“Right now, we have a bunch of amazing songs … and no book [for ‘Bombshell’]. And I would love to meet the woman who could actually sing all those songs in a row, let alone eight times a week! They’re all epic showstoppers. I’d love to see somebody do something with it, but as far as I know, nothing’s happening.”