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Bombshell is a new musical with a book and lyrics by Julia Houston and music by Tom Levitt. It is currently in previews at the Lily Hayes Theatre on 45th Street (in the show's world).

The musical is told from the perspective of ambitious blonde Norma Jeane Mortenson - who later transforms into cultural icon and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Bombshell tells the story in which the young woman rises to stardom and becomes one of the greatest female legends of all time while struggling through a chain of events that result in her fall from grace and subsequent death.

After a Derek Wills-directed workshop known as Marilyn in New York, the musical went to Boston for out-of-town previews before returning to New York to push for the Broadway stage.

As of Smash's first season, Bombshell is the driving force behind essentially all plot events that occur in the show.


Current Cast

Lead Roles

Supporting Roles

  • Jessica and Sue - Starlets
  • Peter Rini - Arthur Miller
  • Marc Kudisch - Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Simon - President John F. Kennedy
  • Henry Stram - Lee Strasberg
  • Tim Wright - Johnny Hyde
  • TBA - Jim Doughtery
  • Leigh Conroy - Gladys Baker
  • Sophia Caruso - Young Norma Jeane
  • Some Like It Hot Crew:
    • Missy Dowse - Underling
    • Michael Thomas Holmes - Director
    • Matthew Hostetler - Best Boy
    • Dave - Grip


  • Bobby
  • Jessica
  • Sue
  • Tracy Ann Lundman
  • Karla Garcia
  • Jessica Walker
  • Skye Mattox
  • Craig Henningsen
  • Derek Ferguson
  • Marcus Bellamy
  • Dollar Tan
  • Joe Aaron Reid


  • Tristan
  • Dexter
  • Jordan

Former Cast

  • Karen Cartwright - was to play the role of Marilyn, quit to join Hit List. Replaced by Ivy.
  • Rebecca Duvall - was to play the role of Marilyn, quit after an allergic reaction. Replaced by Karen.
  • Ted - was to play Joe DiMaggio, quit after he was offered a Pilot. Replaced by Michael.
  • Michael Swift - former Joe Dimaggio for Bombshell's workshop and Boston previews.
  • Dennis - former understudy for Joe Dimaggio.
  • Sam Strickland - former Swing and Backup for the ensemble and quit in The Dress Rehearsal.


Current Crew

  • Julia Houston - Book Writer and Lyricist
  • Tom Levitt - Composer and Director
  • Eileen Rand - Producer
  • Derek Wills - Choreographer
  • Linda - Stage Manager
  • Josh - Assistant Choreographer
  • Agnes - Publicist
  • Larry - Accompianist
  • Sabrinia - Set Designer
  • Melissa - Costume Designer
  • Don - Lighting Designer
  • Simon - Wig Master
  • Peter Gilman - Dramaturg
  • Lyle West - Investor

Former Crew


Act I

Before she was Marilyn Monroe, she was Norma Jeane. At the top of the show, her first marriage has just ended due to her all consuming drive to be a movie star ("LET ME BE YOUR STAR" - Norma Jeane). As the number finishes, we flash back to the 10-year-old Norma Jeane, who is being dropped off at Grauman's Chinese Theatre by her single mother, Gladys Baker, a mentally-unstable film cutter who uses the courtyard filled with movie stars' foot and hand prints to babysit for her daughter ("AT YOUR FEET" - Gladys, Young Norma Jeane & Tourists).

Flash forward to the adult Norma Jeane, who is now an actress often confronted with the casting couch ("SMASH!" - Norma Jeane & Starlets). Norma Jeane changes her name to Marilyn Monroe. But Marilyn pays her bills by modeling. At one photo shoot, she spies a book of Yeats' poetry on the shelf and surprises the photographer with her knowledge of the poet's work as she sings of her history with men ("NEVER GIVE ALL THE HEART" - Marilyn). But even as she quotes Yeats, the song ends with her naked in the iconic calendar pose.

A smart agent gets Marilyn a screen test for 20th Century Fox ("THE 20TH CENTURY FOX MAMBO" - Marilyn & Film Crew). The screen test does the trick, and Marilyn becomes a star. Famed Yankee slugger, Joe DiMaggio, sees her picture in a magazine and asks her out. Marilyn goes straight to the ball field for some due diligence ("THE NATIONAL PASTIME" - Marilyn & Ball Players). Marilyn & Joe have their first date and it lasts well past dawn ("HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT" - Marilyn and Joe). The two quickly fall in love, and marry. While honeymooning in Japan, Marilyn is asked to perform for troops in Korea. Joe sees first hand how men react to her and how she loves it. ("I NEVER MET A WOLF WHO DIDN'T LOVE TO HOWL" - Marilyn & Soldiers). When they arrive back in America, Joe does his best to domesticate her with the promise of a simpler life ("MR. & MRS. SMITH" - Marilyn and Joe).

Testing out the power of her stardom, Marilyn starts showing up late and refusing roles. Darryl F. Zanuck reacts with anger ("DON'T SAY YES UNTIL I FINISH TALKING" - Darryl F. Zanuck & Yes Men). On location on the streets of New York City, Marilyn shoots the famous skirt blowing up scene for Billy Wilder's The Seven Year Itch, and the public display enrages Joe, who leaves her ("ON LEXINGTON & 52ND STREET" - Joe). Back in Hollywood on her next film, the divorce from Joe becomes official, and as film wraps, Marilyn resolves to keep going with the one family she knows, the film crew ("CUT, PRINT....MOVING ON" - Marilyn & Studio Staff). They smile at her attempt at camaraderie, but are long fed up with her on-set behaviour as the curtain falls on Act One.

Act II

Making one picture after another, Marilyn becomes dissatisfied with the roles she is being offered, "retires" from pictures and flies off to New York City, where she is met by a phalanx of reporters and fans at Idyllwild Airport ("PUBLIC RELATIONS" - Marilyn and the Press). More determined than ever to become a great actress, Marilyn begins to study with Lee & Paula Strasberg at The Actor's Studio ("DIG DEEP" - Lee Strasberg, Marilyn & Students). Huddled around a piano at a party in New York, Marilyn meets esteemed playwright Arthur Miller. She tells him of how her often-institutionalized mother bought a piano once on an infrequent visit home, which is Norma Jeane's only memory of a happy moment between her and her mother, and that after searching for years, she found the actual piano, bought it, and now takes it wherever she lives ("SECOND HAND WHITE BABY GRAND" - Marilyn). Arthur is deeply touched, they fall in love and marry.

With newfound confidence in her acting skills, Marilyn goes to England to film The Prince & The Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier. Unfortunately, Olivier treats her like a "no talent" and she admits to the apprentice hired to look after her that she wonders if the auditioning and always having to prove herself will ever stop ("THEY JUST KEEP MOVING THE LINE" - Marilyn). With the box office failure of The Prince & The Showgirl, Marilyn begrudgingly heads back to Hollywood to film Some Like It Hot, but is so unhappy about still having to play the dumb blonde that she begins spiraling down, keeping the crew waiting more than ever, as she drinks and takes pills ("LET'S BE BAD - Marilyn and the Cast of Some Like It Hot). Soon, Arthur Miller, watching her even worse behavior as she films his screenplay, The Misfits, realizes he can't help her or even stay with her ("THE RIGHT REGRETS" - Arthur Miller).

On her own back in Hollywood, Marilyn attends a fundraiser for John F. Kennedy in Palm Springs, where Nat King Cole entertains, rallying the super glamorous guests ("(LET'S START) TOMORROW TONIGHT" - Nat King Cole). At the fundraiser, Marilyn meets John F. Kennedy, sparks fly, and they begin to sneak off together whenever he can manage to get away. But it is a degrading and doomed relationship ("OUR LITTLE SECRET" - John F. Kennedy & Marilyn). 

Fired from her latest film, used up by the Kennedys and deeply under the influence of pills and booze, Marilyn fantasizes about visiting her mother at the sanitarium, where - in the dream - Gladys says all the things to Marilyn that she always wanted to hear ("HANG THE MOON" - Gladys & Marilyn). But when she awakens to find herself alone, Marilyn calls one friend after another as the drugs and alcohol have a final, lethal effect on her ("SECOND HAND WHITE BABY GRAND [REPRISE]" - Marilyn). At her funeral, Joe imagines what their life could have been like together ("MR. & MRS. SMITH [REPRISE]" - Joe). Marilyn's spirit looks back on what she has done with her life, and how she hopes to be remembered ("DON'T FORGET ME" - Marilyn).

Musical Numbers

Act I
  •  At Your Feet – Gladys, Young Norma Jeane, Tourists and Hollywood Citizens
  •  Smash! – Aspiring Actresses

Act II
  •  Dig Deep – Lee Strasberg, Marilyn and Students
  •  Let's Be Bad – Marilyn and the Cast of Some Like It Hot

Proposed/Reassigned Numbers


Outer Critics Circle - 10 Nominations

  • Best Musical - Nominated
  • Best Book - Won
  • Best Score - Nominated
  • Best Leading Actress in a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Supporting Actressing a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Direction - Tied with Hit List
  • Best Choreography - Nominated
  • Best Lighting Design for a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Scenic Design for a Musical - Nominated

Tonys - 12 Nominations

  • Best Musical - Won
  • Best Direction - Nominated
  • Best Actress for a Leading Role in a Musical - Won
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Choreography - Nominated
  • Best Book - Nominated
  • Best Score - Won
  • Best Lighting Design in a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Scenic Design in a Musical - Nominated
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical - Won
  • Best Sound Design of a Musical - Nominated