‘Smash’ Recap: Bernadette Peters Guest Stars in ‘The Workshop’ + Causes Emotional Turmoil for Ivy
Emotions runs high in episode seven of 'Smash,' titled, 'The Workshop,' which starts off with Derek (Jack Davenport) and Eileen (Anjelica Houston) catching Michael (Will Chase) and Julia (Debra Messing) holding hands outside of their studio building. Karen (Katharine McPhee) shows up at a recording studio and nails ‘Brighter Than the Sun’ by Colbie Caillat. Once inside, Michael drags Julia out of the workshop for a passionate make out session, where Tom catches them. Ellis is also hidden in the room, much to his old tricks, reassuring us that nothing is ever boring in the New York City world of theater.
Karen receives an immediate callback to the recording studio, while Ivy shows up late with her Broadway famous mother, played by renowned star Bernadette Peters. Julia, Tom and the rest of the cast convince her to sing 'Coming Up Roses' for them. Peters performs a breathtaking number, to a standing ovation, which only reduces Ivy to tears. This leads Derek to surprisingly tell her, “I know I don’t say this enough, but you’re wonderful.”
In the theme of surprises, Michael’s wife and son show up at the studio, sending Julia out of the building in tears. She pleads with Tom, saying she has to go home and leaves. Ellis then reveals to Eileen about Michael and Julia’s affair, but Eileen threatens him to never speak a word about it. At home, Julia discovers her son Leo smoking pot again. He storms out of the room, claiming to know “all about” what she is the middle of.
At Ivy’s apartment, her mother drives her over the edge with passive negativity and harsh comments. Ivy blames her nerves on the pills she is taking, to which her mother responds, “I never needed any of that when I won a Tony.” As a result Ivy decides to take the sleeping pill on top of the steroids.
The morning of the big workshop arrives and Karen has another callback to the music studio. Nonetheless, she refuses to go because she wouldn’t miss the workshop for the world. At the studio Julia begins to reveal to Michael that her son knows about the affair, but Ivy is late, and so Julia must step in to read Marilyn for Michael’s Joe DiMaggio. The two improvise the scene, actually improving the writing as Julia yells to Michael that she does not belong to him.
As Derek introduces the workshop to a room of producers, Ivy’s mother makes a late entrance, infuriating Ivy. However, the show goes on and Ivy gives a great performance until she begins slipping up. Meanwhile Karen is picturing herself as Marilyn instead of Ivy, and the sequence ends with Karen falling off bleachers, disrupting the whole show.
When the presentation starts again, Michael performs ‘Lexington and 52nd Street’ as DiMaggio in a heartfelt plead for Marilyn to stay with him. Suddenly the room goes dark and Michael is only performing for a teary eyed Julia. Rocketing back to reality the performance ends to much applause. Even so, Ivy’s mother fails to comment on her daughter’s work. Ivy accuses her mother of being cold and unsupportive in front of Derek.
Later on, as she packs up to leave, Ivy’s mother tells her that she wished Ivy would do something else instead of the cruel world of theater. However, in spite of that feeling, her mother truly knows she will do well because she is a “star.” Meanwhile, Derek reads off the comments left by the producers, which are less than appealing. Tom and Julia decide that Michael needs to leave the production, much to Derek’s disapproval. However, Derek does think the show needs a new Marilyn, which nobody else agrees with.
At home Julia talks with her son Leo and tells him about firing Michael, to which her son breaks down with relief. Next week on ‘Smash,’ Derek pulls Karen in for a secret job, behind the backs of Julia and Tom, which seems to bring the show to a new level of intensity in this ever climaxing drama. We can't wait to see what happens next!
Watch Michael Perform 'Lexington and 52nd Street'