In honor of the Season 2 premiere of "Smash," tomorrow night, I offer this fun, behind-the-scenes gift that fate gave me a couple of weeks ago!
So I was sick. Something sinus-y, but not contagious. Just bad enough that I was miserable, but not bad enough to cancel my theatre weekend, and forfeit the tickets I'd already bought. My Muse hotel friends made sure my room was ready, made me tea and sent me popcorn. I holed up in the room until hunger for hot soup drove me out onto W46th St. to the Europa Cafe on the corner (great soups!). It's a good thing I was too broke for room service, because when I went out, I was greeted by a line of unmistakably filming-related trailers parked along 46th St. outside the hotel. I saw the "Universal" stamp on the side of the otherwise unmarked trailers and realized that there was a good possibility that one of my favorite television diversions (see previous blog post below), "Smash," was likely filming that evening. Sure enough, the last trailer in line had the photo to the left on its door! I struggled with my geeky angel sitting on my shoulder whispering "ask someone when/where they're filming!" but was saved from extreme geekiness when there was really no one around to ask anyway.
I got my soup, and returned to the hotel, extracting a promise from the front desk staff that they would call me immediately if they saw any evidence of filming going on. I sniffled and coughed and rested (feeling properly sorry for myself), until it was time for me to leave for "Golden Boy" at the Belasco Theatre on W44th St. As I was heading that way, I encountered an official-looking young woman near the trailers wearing a badge-thingy, and my geeky angel beat me into submission, and I asked her when/where filming might be happening. "Oh," she replied, "we're filming right now over on W45th St.!" Perfect! It was on my way to the show! But time was limited and in the most nonchalant manner I could muster, I calmly sauntered towards the next block, pulling my camera out as I broke into a walk-run.
Sure enough, there was the commotion in front of the Lyceum Theatre, standing in for the fictional "Lily Hayes Theatre," home for "Bombshell," the musical at the center of "Smash" (so far, anyway :)). I love watching filming of movies, television, etc., and got to do it a fair amount when I lived in Los Angeles; but it's been a bit of a dry spell in DC. So "Smash," or no, I was still excited to get to see a bit of the fun. They appeared to be filming an "opening night" for the show, with a crowd of extravagantly dressed extras milling about the front of the theatre. The scene being worked on had "Tom," (Christian Borle), tux-clad, being driven a few feet in a limo and stepping out amid a flash of cameras.
I was able to mingle with the extras for a few minutes and watch the limo moving up and back a few times, with Christian inside (the photo to the left shows a very serious Christian right before he glanced up and we exchanged smiles through the limo window :)).
Realizing that I was flirting with the disastrous possibility that I would miss the curtain of the show I was actually paying to attend, I took as many photos of the marquee and crowd as I could and then dashed to the Belasco just in time.
After my show let out, I walked back by the Lyceum on the way home, to see if anything was still going on. The crowd had dispersed but the lights were all still on and this time I was able to get close-ups of the front window cards with the fictional show information. What a treasure!! You can see that the detail in the props; the characters' names, etc. But my favorite part is the tape covering the star's name and then the director's name.
[WARNING~SLIGHTLY SPOILERY-SKIP TO FINAL PARAGRAPH IF YOU WISH]In one of the photos you can see an "Iv" peeking out at the beginning. Whether the tape was there to avoid spoilers, or whether the tape is a plot point (last minute substitution, for example), remains to be seen.
In the meantime, I had a wonderful respite from feeling lousy that made me completely confident I'd made the right decision in dragging myself to the city that was going to make me feel better no matter how sick I might be!!
Click the photo below to go to the NBC site for the show & watch the 2-hour season premiere tomorrow, Feb 5 '13, at 8pm EST.