Smash Review: Poisonous Ivy
The Smash workshop got underway this week, with Ivy in the lead and Karen part of the ensemble... for now.
Yes, Ivy earned the role of Marilyn, but that didn't stop her from continuing in her role as Queen Bitch. I can't decide whether to simply be annoyed or to feel sorry for her. She "won" the starring role, but she's as insecure as ever.
Then, there's Karen. She was rejected for the biggest opportunity of her life so far, but she showed up to be a member of the ensemble as confident as ever. If anything, she was overly confident.
Either way, Ivy felt threatened by Karen's talent; the battle between them continues. Initially, it looked like Ivy won this round by getting Karen sidelined in the workshop, but in the end, I'm not sure. Karen's a fighter who wallowed in self-pity for a few minutes, but then came out firing in her confrontation with Jessica.
Karen is talented, but more importantly she is sincere. She wants to succeed, but the right way. She wouldn't sleep with the director or put someone else down to get ahead. Her positive attitude won over Jessica and earned her friends in the ensemble.
I absolutely adored when Karen, Jessica, Bobby, and Sue took over Karen's apartment to fit her for her ensemble role. They adopted Karen into their posse, from the clothes, to getting her into their dancing classes, to most importantly coaching her on toning down her performance.
Did they succeed? I'm not sure. The bar scene where they were dancing to "Rumour Has It" and Karen broke out singing either just means she still wants to be a star and/or that she hasn't accepted her position in the ensemble. I can't wait to see what happens when Karen walks back into the workshop room!
Ivy's insecurities may get the best of her. Not only as Marilyn, but in her relationship with Derek. At the workshop, both Tom and Derek took Ivy's side when it came to Karen, but how long will that last? At some point, they are going to want the best of the best in the ensemble, which clearly includes Karen.
If Ivy isn't confident in her ability to be Marilyn, there is no way she will succeed in the role. She may have gotten the part for now, but there is plenty of opportunity for her to be replaced. Her conversation with Derek at the party was very telling when he told her if she wanted to be safe to go back to the chorus. Unfortunately, that will most likely come up again.
No one will ever know if Ivy would have gotten the role if she didn't sleep with Derek, but that relationship has fed into her insecurities. Add in that Derek demonstrated that he will flirt with other women and it complicates things even more.
Outside of the personal issues happening on the musical, Eileen continued to deal with finding funding for the project. Her husband has blocked her every move, even if not intentionally. I loved the idea that she would sell the painting from her marriage to move forward in her life. But it never is that simple, is it?
Her business proposal to Lyle West came across a little creepy to me. I'm not sure why, it was a financial transaction, nothing sexual at all. Perhaps, it was because we saw her desperation in the move. He definitely got the better end of the deal because he will either end up with an exquisite painting at a bargain price or huge profits from a hit musical. A win-win situation if there ever was one. Lyle may be young, but he isn't a fool.
"The Cost of Art" music was much improved over last Monday. While I'm sure I've heard the Jonas Brothers at some point, I wasn't familiar with Nick Jonas's voice. His rendition of "Haven't Met You Yet" was a pleasant surprise. I enjoy the way songs are authentically placed throughout each Smash episode.
While I enjoyed that solo, the group performance at the party of "I Never Met a Wolf That Didn't Like to Howl" from the musical was pure fun to watch. Ivy was Marilyn there and full of the confidence that she needs to hold on to. Even Julia and Ellis got along for those few moments.
While the A-listers were at Derek's party, Karen and the ensemble were having a blast of their own at the bar dancing and singing a little Adele. Those two performances were an intriguing contrast.
We are now four episodes in, are you Team Ivy? Or Team Karen? Did you change your allegiance this week?