Friday, March 22, 2024


JENNIFER HUDSON                                                       


Heading to Broadway Spring 2025


Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman

Book by Rick Elice & Bob Martin

Choreography by Joshua Bergasse

Direction by Susan Stroman

Lead Producers Robert GreenblattNeil Meron, and Steven Spielberg are thrilled to announce that Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner Jennifer Hudson will join the producing team of the upcoming stage musical adaptation of SMASH, which is slated to open on Broadway in Spring 2025. Hudson, who appeared as a guest star on season 2 of the fan-favorite NBC series that serves as the basis for the musical, announced the news today on her daytime talk show, “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”

 Watch the clip here.


Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Emmy-winning artist and entertainment icon. Over her highly acclaimed career, Hudson has been named one of Time magazine’s “Most Influential People in the World,” received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, received NAACP Entertainer of the Year, performed at the Super Bowl, sang for world leaders and has a day named after her in the city of Chicago. Hudson’s nationally syndicated talk show, “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” has received six Daytime Emmy Award nominations and two nominations for People’s Choice Awards. The show, which has featured an impressive lineup of guests, earned her the AAFCA “We See You Award” and NAACP Image Awards for Best Talk Show Host and Best Talk Show.


This reunites Hudson with SMASH composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and producers Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron, following her incredible performance as Motormouth Maybelle in NBC’s production of “HAIRSPRAY LIVE!” in 2016.


The production will be helmed by 5-time Tony-winning director Susan Stroman, with a score by the Tony- and Grammy-winning duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Some Like It Hot, Hairspray, Mary Poppins Returns, etc.), who wrote over two dozen songs for the television show, many of which will be used in the musical. They will also be writing additional new material. The book will be co-written by two of Broadway’s most seasoned craftsmen, Tony-nominated Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher) and Tony-winner Bob Martin (The Prom, The Drowsy Chaperone). And Smash’s Emmy-winning choreographer, Joshua Bergasse, will reprise his role for the stage adaptation. 101 Productions, Ltd. will serve as General Management. 


Many of the songs Shaiman and Wittman wrote for the television show including the Emmy-nominated “Let Me Be Your Star” — will be used in the new musical. And while the story will follow the harrowing and hilarious process of mounting “Bombshell” (the musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe), the stage version of Smash will also depart liberally from the series.


The award-winning creative team for the musical gathered earlier this year in New York for a series of workshop presentations, following an industry reading in Fall 2023.


The critically acclaimed Smash debuted on NBC in February 2012 to raves from The Los Angeles Times (“A triumph”), The San Francisco Chronicle (“It’s so good you can’t help wondering why no one thought of it before”), The Hollywood Reporter (“Excellent, a bar-raiser for broadcast networks and superior to Glee”), and The Huffington Post (“One of the strongest new shows of the season”), among many others.


Smash was groundbreaking in its ambitiousness and developed a devoted following, but its popularity has only grown in the following years. The cast performed a charity benefit concert of the songs from “Bombshell” at the Minskoff Theatre in June of 2015 which sold out in fifteen minutes. It was filmed and eventually streamed during the early days of the pandemic in 2019 as a benefit for The Actor’s Fund (Entertainment Community Fund).


Susan Stroman’s work on Broadway is voluminous, including one of the biggest hits of all time, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, for which she won Tony Awards for both direction and choreography. Her other achievements include Tony Awards for choreography for Crazy For YouShow Boat, and Contact. She was recently represented in the West End by the well-received revival of Crazy For You, and on Broadway with New York, New York which featured a score by the immortal team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.


Neil Meron has collaborated previously with Shaiman and Wittman, first on the motion picture of the musical Hairspray starring John Travolta, and then on the NBC live adaptation starring Harvey Fierstein. Meron was one of the lead producers (with Greenblatt as Co-Producer) of the recent Shaiman and Wittman Broadway musical, Some Like It Hot, which opened to raves in December of 2022 at the Shubert Theatre.


The celebrated songwriters previously adapted another Steven Spielberg property for Broadway, the musical Catch Me If You Can, which was based on his 2002 hit film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. They also collaborated on the score for the box office hit, Mary Poppins Returns; and Shaiman is an Emmy-winner and seven-time Oscar nominee for his scores for motion pictures.


Rick Elice is co-writer of the mega-hit Jersey Boys, as well as The Addams Family, The Cher Show, and Peter and the Starcatcher. Bob Martin began his Broadway career both starring in and writing the book (Tony Award) for The Drowsy Chaperone. He co-wrote the book to the musical The Prom and co-created the television series Slings and Arrows. Martin and Elice are currently adapting The Princess Bride for the stage; Martin is also writing the book for the upcoming Broadway-bound musical, Boop; and Elice is writing the new musical, Water For Elephants.


Since Smash, Joshua Bergasse has become an acclaimed choreographer on Broadway where he was Tony-nominated for his elaborate ballets in the recent revival of On The Town. He collaborated with Shaiman and Wittman as choreographer for their musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and he also choreographed the revival of Lerner & Lowe’s Gigi starring Vanessa Hudgins.


Steven Spielberg is the most successful director in film history and the recipient of every major award including four Oscars, three Emmys, numerous Golden Globes and the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, to name just a few. His list of producing credits for film and television through his two companies — DreamWorks and Amblin’ — is in a class by itself. He is also active on Broadway. His multi-faceted philanthropic work includes the creation of the USC Shoah Foundation in 1994.


Over the past thirty years, Robert Greenblatt ran Fox Broadcasting, Showtime, NBC, HBO, and the Turner Networks, and oversaw the launch of HBO Max in 2020. Between executive stints, he became an award-winning producer on Broadway (three Tony Awards, two Oliviers) and on television, where he won Golden Globe and Peabody Awards for HBO’s Six Feet Under. He produced Annie Live! with Neil Meron in 2021 and is currently executive producer of Julian Fellowes’ The Gilded Age on HBO.


Neil Meron is a busy producer on Broadway (Some Like It Hot, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Promises, Promises) and in film and television. He produced (with the late Craig Zadan) the Best-Picture, Chicago, the film version of Hairspray, The Bucket List, Bette Midler’s star turn in Gypsy for CBS, numerous television movies, and six live television musicals: The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live!, The Wiz Live!, Hairspray Live!, Annie Live!, and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!, for which he was awarded the Emmy.


SMASH is based in part on the NBC television series created by Theresa Rebeck and produced by Universal Television. Executive producers included Steven Spielberg, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, David Marshall Grant, and Joshua Safran.


Follow SMASH at @smashbway on Instagram.

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