Unconvincing for the role, you mean, or for the TV show? Both. It’s a nagging question throughout, as one gets the sneaking suspicion that if “Smash” is anything like a hit, then “Marilyn: The Musical” is not far from actuality, and we’re all just pawns in an another act of commercial synergy rubber-stamped with Steven Spielberg’s name on it. Worse things have happened, I suppose, and one of “Smash’s” strongest attributes is its music, with Tony-friendly songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (whose credits include “Hairspray: The Musical” and a whole lot else).
“Smash” has weaknesses, to be sure: Messing’s performance makes me think of chenille throws and long naps; the dialogue gets hacky in every episode; the ghost of “The Playboy Club” sends a chill through the chorus-girl dressing room scenes. But “Smash” also has a confidence that speaks to its pedigree: Creator Theresa Rebeck is an accomplished playwright and TV producer/writer; the show’s other producers and writers have a wealth of stage and screen experience. That expertise makes “Smash” feel a little more special, enough so that Broadway junkies won’t be disappointed by the details.