New NBC series 'Smash' features two alumni

Smash,” the much-anticipated NBC backstage melodrama, features two Brandeis alumni in leading roles – one in front of the camera, the other behind it.

Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing ’90 and veteran Broadway playwright and TV writer Theresa Rebeck, M.A.’83, M.F.A.’86, Ph.D.’89, the show’s creator, are among the big names involved in the new series. “Smash” makes its debut at 10 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6.

A musical drama about the making of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, “Smash” is the brainchild of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg.

Messing, who is best known for her role on the NBC comedy series “Wall & Grace, plays Julia Houston, the lyricist on the songwriting team that is crafting the Marilyn musical. In the series, Julia struggles to balance the relentless demands of Broadway with the needs of her family, and the return of her old flame.

"I read (the script) and the second I finished it, I called my representatives and said I have to be a part of it,” Messing told the Los Angeles Times. “I was so giddy. I mean, my first dream was to be in musical theater. I took tap dance when I was 3. I wanted to be a hoofer. I wanted to be ‘Funny Girl.’"

Rebeck’s newest play, "Seminar," is currently playing on Broadway. Her past New York productions include "The Understudy" and "Mauritius." Rebeck's extensive television credits include writer/co-producer for "NYPD Blue," writer/co-executive producer for "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and co-executive producer for "Canterbury's Law."

Categories: Alumni, Arts

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage